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Empty lot — and empty promises? — at Court St project

The big empty: The Clarett Group has halted construction — temporarily, the company says — at the former Longshoreman’s medical office at the corner of Court and Union streets.
The Brooklyn Paper / Tom Callan

The developers of a controversial residential project on Court Street have quietly halted construction for at least six months, raising anxiety that the empty lot will haunt the main drag of Carroll Gardens during this increasingly dire economic downturn.

Clarett Group’s seven-story apartment building and townhouse complex between Union and Sackett streets, on the site of a razed longshoremen’s medical clinic, has been temporarily shelved, the developers have told Councilman Bill DeBlasio (D–Park Slope) and Assemblywoman Joan Millman (D–Carroll Gardens), two lawmakers who have been in contact with the Clarett Group because many constituents have questioned the size of the proposal and its sleek modern look.

Now many of those critics worry the undeveloped site — possibly another victim of mayhem in the real estate and credit markets — will turn into an eyesore.

“It was a monstrosity of a building, but I am not crazy about having a hole in the ground!” said Carroll Gardens resident and blogger Katia Kelly.

A spokeswoman for the company, which also built the Forte tower in Fort Greene, would not discuss the new construction schedule, which originally called for the project to be done by the end of 2009, a timeline that seems unattainable.

But the spokeswoman, Alison Maiore, did tell The Brooklyn Paper that the builders would finish the 29-unit project sooner or later.

“Work will continue on this site,” she said. “It’s just taking longer.”

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