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Fast feud: Brownstone nabes have beef with new McDonald’s • Brooklyn Paper

Fast feud: Brownstone nabes have beef with new McDonald’s

Boerum Hill residents Ralph Sanchez and Grace Freedman are sick of the former KFC building on Fourth Avenue looking like such a dump.
Photo by Bryan Bruchman

Boerum Hill and Park Slope residents are outraged that a shuttered Fourth Avenue KFC that’s slated to become a McDonald’s has become a garbage-filled eyesore, saying the world’s biggest burger chain must clean the site and make the drive-thru fancier before they’ll consider lovin’ it.

The Brownstone Brooklyn residents added that when the outpost for the world’s largest burger seller gets built, it better look more like DuMont Burger than the standard golden arches.

“They need to realize what this neighborhood is,” said Boerum Hill resident Grace Freedman. “It’s not appropriate for a highway McDonald’s. We’d like to make it as nice as possible and even do landscaping.”

McDonald’s spokeswoman Cheryll Forsatz wouldn’t say whether the burger giant would let neighbors vet the design — or do the landscaping. But she promised the eatery’s traditional bright reds and yellows will be subdued with muted colors at the new location at Baltic Street, and said its interior would feature wooden tables, Wi-Fi and other contemporary flourishes that will make it look more upscale.

“If you look at Manhattan, you’ll find newer chic designs,” said Forsatz, whose company already has locations just six blocks away at Atlantic Terminal and nine blocks away on Fourth Avenue and First Street — and eyed moving into the Triangle Sports building at Flatbush and Fifth avenues, but didn’t make an offer.

“It will be not what people think when they think of McDonald’s restaurants,” Forsatz said.

But no matter how much the Golden Arches glisten when the burger joint opens next May, neighbors say they want the fast food giant to clean up its dilipidated lot — and fast.

McDonald’s bought the former chicken chain last fall, and beer bottles and other refuse have littered the sidewalks ever since, according to neighbors.

“We always thought, ‘Well, it couldn’t be worse than a KFC,’” said Cathleen Bell.

“But right now, this is definitely is worse.”

Critics have called and e-mailed McDonald’s to demand an end to the grimy Mac Attack, which they claim is sullying a busy stretch of Fourth Avenue between Park Slope and Boerum Hill that local pols and community groups have rallied to beautify in recent years.

“This is absolutely disgraceful,” said Ralph Sanchez, a neighbor who sweeps trash in front of the site at least once a week. “If you buy a piece of property, you can’t let it turn into a dump!”

In October, the city’s Department of Buildings slapped the chain with $4,000 in fines and several violations for a fallen construction fence facing Fourth Avenue.

Locals were shocked on Saturday when McDonald’s finally sent a contractor to sweep up the trash — saying that the corporation hasn’t responded to their phone calls and e-mails.

The cleaning man, who declined to give his name, griped that neighbors should take care of the sidewalks.

“The same people who are complaining are the same people who are making it dirty,” he said. “It’s their neighborhood. They should clean it up.”

Critics say the trash-strewn lot sends a foreboding message about the burger joint’s plans.

“What the corporation has shown so far,” Freed added, “is a complete lack of respect.”

Reach Kate Briquelet at kbriquelet@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-2511.

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