Former newspaper building on Atlantic Avenue to be razed for apartments

atlantic avenue newspaper building
An Atlantic Avenue building that used to house the Brooklyn Daily Times may soon be torn down.
Photo by Susan De Vries

An old Atlantic Avenue factory building that once housed the Brooklyn Daily Times may soon be torn down to make way for a new eight-story mixed-use development with 159 apartments, city records show.

The five-story early 20th century brick structure at 540 Atlantic Ave. and a connected single-story building were recently purchased by local developer Jacob Schwimmer, who has filed a demolition permit for the existing complex and a new-building permit for a new mixed-use development.

Schwimmer paid $38.5 million on December 5 to take the Boerum Hill building from Daily Mirror Associates LLC. The building had multiple liens and a pre-foreclosure filed against it, city records show.

atlantic avenue building
The current building was constructed in 1924. Photo by Susan De Vries

Schwimmer is involved in a number of Brooklyn developments through JCS Realty, including the Bushwick development The Stanwix on the Rheingold Brewery site. He is also part of David Bistricer’s Clipper Realty, which has major Brooklyn developments including Flatbush Gardens. Clipper Equity has been in the news this year for filing to evict many of its tenants from the sprawling Flatbush complex.

The permits are yet to be issued by the Department of Buildings, but the new-building permit application says the development would be eight stories and 84 feet tall with 159 apartments, ground-floor commercial, and 41 parking spaces. Thomas Scibilia of NA Design Studio is listed as the architect for the project.

The existing Frank J. Helme-designed building was constructed in 1924 as part of an expansion for the Brooklyn Daily Times, where Brooklyn literary icon Walt Whitman had earlier worked as an editor after leaving the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Noted architect Helme created a well-proportioned building with arched openings at street level, pale stone highlights against the red brick, and crenellations, combining the Romanesque with Art Deco.

newspaper building
Permits say the new building would be eight stories tall. Photo by Susan De Vries

The building was designed so that one section could be built and the building expanded as needed, according to a special section the Brooklyn Daily Times published in an April 1925 issue. A sketch shows a bigger building than the one ultimately constructed.

Over the following years, the newspaper went through a number of acquisitions and name changes, and by the latter half of the century the building was known as the Daily Mirror Building. The intersection of Flatbush, Atlantic, and 4th avenues was dubbed Times Plaza in honor of the newspaper.

Next door to the former press hub was a post office, the Times Plaza Post Office, until its demolition in 2020. The post office has since been replaced by an 11-story residential building.

This story first appeared on Brooklyn Paper’s sister site Brownstoner