Former flophouse is on the market again

for The Brooklyn Paper
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This former Pacific Street flophouse and murder site can be yours thanks to a city auction announced this week.

It’s certainly not the first time that the city has tried to unload the vacant three-story shell at 572 Pacific St., between Fourth and Flatbush avenues, since taking possession of the property 21 years ago.

During that time, it was a single-room–occupancy hotel and the site of three murders during the bad old, pre–Jonathan Lethem days in Boerum Hill, according to James Vogel, secretary of the Pacific Street Block Association.

Most recently, the plan was to bring in the Fifth Avenue Committee, a local non-profit, to operate the building as a halfway house, but the block association beat back that proposal and won a promise from the city that the building would remain a three-family home, Vogel said.

It shouldn’t be so difficult to dispose of a house on an up-and-coming block near the confluence of Park Slope, Fort Greene and Boerum Hill, but several prior auctions failed when auction winners abandoned their bids before the city was able to complete the deal.

As a result, the building remains a boarded-up symbol of the block’s Lethem-esque past.

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development will accept bids starting on Oct. 15. They’re due on Nov. 2. Send bids to the agency’s Asset Sales Program, 100 Gold St., New York, NY 10038 or via the HPD Web site,

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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Reasonable discourse

Jim Vogel says:
Two corrections: we are the East Pacific Block Association. We formed over 25 years ago to improve the quality of life on Pacific Street for the two blocks extending from Third Avenue to Flatbush Avenue.

Our agreement with HPD did not originate with the latest suggestion of awarding the property to FAC. The agreement dates to 2001. The East Pacific Block Association remains determined that the agreement is fulfilled as specified. We don't understand why HPD has not delivered the property to any of the developers who made the highest bids in any of the multiple auctions this site has been part of. Our information is the developers all withdrew due to unexplained delays by HPD in delivering the property.
Oct. 16, 2007, 1:29 pm
Larry says:
It was discouraging to read of the condition of 572 Pacific Street. I lived there as a child from 1953-56. We lived in the basement apartment as the rest of the building was a rooming house, yet well maintained and respectable.
Dec. 27, 2007, 11:23 am

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