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Tall order! Landlord of long-vacated Montague St. Starbucks holding out years for another big tenant

Waiting is the hardest part: This space on Montague Street has been open for years, and its owner said it’s waiting for the right tenant to move in.
Community News Group / Lauren Gill

He wants to make star bucks!

A dingy Brooklyn Heights storefront has been collecting dust since a Starbucks moved up the block nearly four years ago, because the owner refuses to lease it to anyone but another big-name tenant — and he is rich enough to keep it deserted for as long as it takes to find one, according to a spokesman.

“We’re spoiled with a triple-A credit rating and that’s what we’re looking for again,” said a rep for the owner — Nathan Silverstein, according to city records — who refused to give his name.

The caffeinated-dessert chain ditched the two-story retail space on Montague Street between Hicks and Henry streets in 2012, and now the brick building — its windows still outlined in Starbucks green — is empty save for some old construction materials, and locals say it looks like crappuccino and is bringing down the whole street.

“It’s an eyesore,” one resident announced at civic group the Brooklyn Heights Association’s annual meeting in February — a sentiment echoed by many others in attendance.

The denizen suggested he turn it over to the community to use as an art gallery until a new store comes along, but other Heights citizens say he should just lower his asking price to attract more prospects.

The civic association’s head honcho Patrick Killackey said he has spoken to Silverstein about dropping the figure, but to no avail.

The rep would not say how much his boss is asking, but Montague Street is notorious for inflated rental prices and high turnover rate, according one local real estate guru, as many landlords mistakenly believe their properties are as desirable as those along tony strips on the distant island on Manhattan.

“This is a very frothy environment,” said broker Chris Havens. “Brooklyn is still mortal.”

The average asking figures on the strip teeter around $150 per square foot, according to a report issued last fall by the Real Estate Board of New York — compared with $162 on the far more heavily trafficked Court Street nearby.

But the spokesman claimed he has received plenty of offers at the current price — it is just that none of them have been what his boss is looking for, as he will only sign on the dotted line with an established company that isn’t in danger of diving into the red.

“We don’t want these new people to start a new company or new corporation and then they go under and break the lease,” he said.

The rep said they are holding out for the long-stalled reopening of the neighboring Bossert Hotel, and hope some of the hotly anticipated historic lodging’s sheen will rub off and attract a high-profile client willing to put up the money for the space.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill

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