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Builder washes hands of Fourth Ave. bathhouse: Historic Lyceum sold months after restoration • Brooklyn Paper

Builder washes hands of Fourth Ave. bathhouse: Historic Lyceum sold months after restoration

Bath time: Developer Greystone unveiled its restoration efforts at the landmarked bathhouse on Fourth Avenue last week.
Photo by Jason Speakman

Talk about a clean break.

Park Slope’s historic Fourth Avenue bathhouse belongs to a new owner, after the developer that spent more than $12 million to buy and renovate the landmarked structure off-loaded it for a cool $10 million — money it will reinvest in projects elsewhere in the neighborhood, where the builder is finishing work on a residential tower next door to the old baths.

“Park Slope and Gowanus are two very strong neighborhoods that are showing growth in the rental market,” said Greystone Development bigwig Cian Hamill.

And although Greystone spent roughly $2 million more to purchase and fix up the Brooklyn Lyceum than it raked in from the recent sale, Hamill said the extra costs to flip the leaky old facility were worth every penny, because buying it allowed the developer to freely transfer air-rights above the Lyceum to its neighbor at 225 Fourth Ave., where the builder is erecting a 13-story, 63-unit rental complex that it expects to open this fall.

“We initially purchased the property with the vacant lot in mind, and were able to secure the air rights to 225,” he said. “Overall it was a very successful investment for us.”

In 2014, the developer paid $7.6 million to purchase the neo-classical Lyceum that opened back in 1910 as Public Bath No. 7, where residents of nearby tenement buildings could freshen up until indoor plumbing arrived at their complexes later that century.

Greystone then pumped an additional $5 million into the once-decrepit bathhouse’s three-year renovation — a restoration that private preservationists at the New York Landmarks Conservancy recognized with a Lucy G. Moses Award for excellence in preservation earlier this month, more than 30 years after the agency designated the baths as a landmark in 1984.

Hamill refused to say who scooped up the property, but documents filed with the city’s Finance Department listed the buyer as a limited-liability corporation called 227 Lyceum.

The building’s current tenant, gym Blink Fitness — which signed a long-term lease for the space following its renovation — won’t be affected by the sale, however, according to Hammill, who said the sweat spot will simply pay its rent to the new landlord until its lease expires in 2033.

And Greystone’s high-rise at 225 Fourth Ave. isn’t the only new tower in the works on the thoroughfare — another condo complex going up nearby at 269 Fourth Ave. will stand 12-stories tall when builder New Empire Real Estate Development completes the jagged, Tetris-block-like structure sometime late next year.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.

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