Real-estate mogul Joe Sitt began demolishing the remnants of the 19th-century Revere Sugar refinery in Red Hook last week — an indication that the developer has soured on his plans for a mega-mall complete with a BJs Wholesale Club.
The old warehouse, along Beard Street near the Ikea superstore, was all that Sitt left standing after he tore down most of the sugar factory in 2006 to the howls of preservationists, who said that the Revere plant, with its iconic dome, was eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
Since then, the site has been quiet, but Sitt has been talking about repurposing the brick storehouse as a mall with BJ’s as the anchor tenant, according to documents obtained by The Brooklyn Paper.
Given that the Swedish furniture company’s big box store is next to Sitt’s property, many believed that Red Hook’s waterfront might become the shopping outlet center of the city.
The sudden burst of activity in Red Hook is a change for Sitt who has been preoccupied with larger pieces of real estate puzzle.
For much of the last two years, his ambitions in Brooklyn have been focused on his vast holdings in Coney Island which, at times, he has said he wants to transform into a tourist magnet of rides, hotels and shopping.
Sitt’s company, Thor Equities, responded with a statement:
“Thor’s original intention was to adaptively reuse the Revere Sugar factory warehouse as part of a new development, but after further analysis, the engineers found structural problems with the building making it unstable and potentially dangerous, and we were forced to proceed with taking the structure down.”