‘Cake sale! Junior’s is on the block and sky’s the limit for developers

Today is Junior’s birthday — but you get the cake!
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Get your cheesecake while you can, Brooklyn.

Junior’s restaurant has put its iconic building on the market. But the owner says not to worry — Junior’s may close for a while as a developer tears it down to build a tower on the spot, but the iconic cheesecake dispensary will return to the ground floor of whatever is constructed.

“I don’t want people to panic,” said Alan Rosen, third-generation owner of the famous eatery. “You’re always going to have your cheesecake in Downtown Brooklyn.”

Rosen’s family has been in the building at the busy intersection of Flatbush Avenue Extension and Dekalb Avenue since the 1920s, when his grandfather ran a restaurant there. Junior’s opened in 1950 and the family bought the building in 1981.

The booming real estate market Downtown has convinced the family it is time to sell, Rosen said.

“We’ve seen the neighborhood change many times over,” he said. “We’ve been getting unsolicited offers for many years.”

Bob Knakal, a partner at realtor Massey Knakal, is marketing the property, and said since it went public on Tuesday his office has been flooded with inquiries about the prime slice of real estate below the two-story restaurant.

“As booming as Brooklyn has become, this is the best development site in Brooklyn,” Knakal said.

The sale price could reach $55 million, the New York Post reported.

The area’s zoning allows for an 11-story building, the New York Post reported, but Chase bank, which is adjacent to Junior’s, has a load of air rights it could sell, meaning that the sky is the limit for potential builders, Knakal said.

But a condition of any sale will include space for Junior’s on the ground floor, either in the form of a long-term lease or a condominium interest, Rosen said. He also said Junior’s will open a second location Downtown, closer to Barclays Center.

“This is our home,” he said. “We’ve been here for 64 years. And we expect to be here another 64 years.”

Reach reporter Matthew Perlman at (718) 260-8310. E-mail him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @matthewjperlman.
Landmark: Junior's is trying to sell its iconic Downtown building, which it has occupied since 1950.