‘Block’ busted building is for sale

for The Brooklyn Paper
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A Dean Street house, site of a bizarre attempt to seal in a family that was living inside, is on the market.

The building at 499 Dean St., in Prospect Heights, made headlines last September, when then-owner Marc Scheiner started demolition even though the Barreto family was still inside.

As reported in The Brooklyn Paper, the family awoke one morning to discover construction crews cinder-blocking every window in the building, with the exception of theirs, in an attempt to force out the family.

Those cinder blocks were finally removed this spring. The building itself is still in shambles from the attempted demolition, however, which explains why Massay Knakal Realty Services is marketing the $2-million building as a unique fixer-upper close to where the mostly luxury Atlantic Yards development is slated to rise.

Experts said the building’s value would soar if Atlantic Yards is built, though neither the building’s current owner nor the real estate broker handling the account returned calls from The Brooklyn Paper.

An employee at the real estate office did confirm that the listing existed.

The gentrification that created the building’s $2-million pricetag ensnared the Barretos, who live in Apartment 2L, last year.

For years, they claimed that Scheiner denied them heat and hot water, and threatened them with illegal rent hikes.

But the Barretos outlasted Scheiner, who sold the building after the “cinder-blocking incident,” said the Barretos’ lawyer, Jennifer Levy of South Brooklyn Legal Services.

Now, the Barretos are in discussions about being relocated while the current owner renovates the building top to bottom. At that point, they’ll return to a ground-floor apartment — with their rent-stabilized status intact.

For now, they still live in the building, although the other units are just shells, replete with missing sheetrock, plumbing and other necessities.

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