Makeover in store for Park Slope eyesore

Makeover in store for Park Slope eyesore
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

A crumbling Park Slope hovel may soon be home to high-priced condos.

A Manhattan developer bought the wreck that has long blighted the corner of Seventh Avenue and Second Street and menaced passersby with showers of debris. The new owner is planning to turn its apartments into spacious condos, according to permits filed in April. Park Slopers weary of fighting to force the former owners to fix it up welcomed the news.

“The building is an unsafe eyesore that has been plaguing the community,” said Craig Hammerman, district manager of the neighborhood’s Community Board 6. “Regardless of what it becomes, our concern has always been safety and aesthetics.”

Sugarhill Capital Partners bought the building for $4.2 million in January 2013, taking it out of the hands of the Nash family, who spent nearly a decade dodging angry neighbors’ demands to repair the dilapidated structure.

Now the builder is plowing ahead with plans to convert each of the five-story building’s four floors into full-floor condos. It is not yet clear what will go in on the ground floor, which in happier times housed the quirky, much-loved Landmark Pub run by sisters Rachel and Esther Nash with their mother Dorothy.

Plans for the building have come and gone since the watering hole closed. The Nash family tried and failed to sell it for $5.5 million in 2006. In January 2012, Rachel Nash appeared before the community board to pitch the idea of opening a cafe on the ground floor and turning the eight apartments into “affordable artist housing.” Nash’s asked Slopers for help raising money for the scheme, saying that the family owned the building outright but had taken out a mortgage from a “predatory lender” to pay property taxes and upkeep, but the jilted community board scoffed at the proposal. The building continued to languish, and its owners went on racking up thousands of dollars in fines for dozens of code violations.

Hammerman said that, given the long history of hollow pronouncements around the site, he is going to have to see the work to believe it.

“We’ve seen lots of suggestions over the years, but nothing has ever manifested,” he said. “But regardless of what it becomes, our concern has always been safety and aesthetics, so any improvement will be a huge step in the right direction.”

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz