Entire Downtown Brooklyn block faces demolition during pandemic

downtown brooklyn
The site from the corner of Flatbush and Fulton.
Photo by Craig Hubert

A triangular block of buildings in Downtown Brooklyn is facing the wrecking ball. 

Currently, 10 of the 16 buildings that are on the block, which fronts Fulton Street, Dekalb Avenue, Flatbush Extension and Bond Street, have been demolished. One of those buildings, located at the tip of the flatiron-shaped block at 547 Fulton Street, overlooking Albee Square, once prominently displayed a mural by the artist Steve “ESPO” Powers that said, “All I Need Is You and New Shoes.” 

Fourteen of the lots are owned by RedSky Capital, who slowly acquired nearly the entire block starting in 2015, paying somewhere around $112 million to date. 

Photo by Craig Hubert

Remaining on the block are three cast-iron Italianate storefronts, although two of them, located at 565 and 569 Fulton Street, are currently in the process of being demolished. Demolition permits were filed in December 2020 for the third, located at 571 Fulton Street. 

Also remaining on the block are two buildings located at 559 and 563 Fulton Street, the latter of which is currently occupied by Duane Reade. They are owned by Barberry Rose Management, who told Brownstoner in July 2019 they had no plans to sell.

It’s unclear what current plans are for the multiple sites. RedSky lists a project called Fulton Mall on their website, but other than saying “coming soon,” no further information is provided. A rendering published by CityRealty in 2019 show what were at least tentative plans: a tower of roughly 50 stories, with a larger four-story base at the bottom and a rectangular shape that has been twisted at different parts in its elevation, breaking its uniformity and giving it a jagged look.

Rendering from RedSky Capital.City Realty

If built, the tower will join a cavalcade of soaring buildings in Downtown Brooklyn, including the 70-story supertall at 9 Dekalb Avenue, which is currently under construction across the street.

RedSky, which owns property all over the borough and wooed Apple to Brooklyn, appears to have fallen on hard times before the pandemic. They handed back to a lender in lieu of foreclosure part of their portfolio in Williamsburg, a combined 14 properties near North 6th Street and Bedford Avenue, valued at $145 million, according to The Real Deal. They still own the sprawling building on Bedford that contains Brooklyn’s first Apple store.

This story first appeared in Brownstoner