MTA, Markowitz speak out on fate of Downtown Brooklyn building

April 26, 2011 06:40PM

Following last week’s remarks by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz on the structural distress of the Manhattan Transportation Authority’s old Downtown Brooklyn headquarters, an MTA spokesperson told The Real Deal that the MTA is still trying to figure out the future of 370 Jay Street.

“We’re working with the city of New York to explore potential uses for the site. Right now, our first priority is making sure the building’s infrastructure is protected,” the spokesperson Jeremy Soffin said.

The building, the MTA’s headquarters till 2002, when it moved to Downtown Manhattan, is in a state of disrepair and had been covered in scaffolding since 1995. This has inspired a great deal of anger from local residents; it is seen as an embarrassment to the street, residents told amNew York during protests in 2008.

“It’s a building that has been in transition, certainly,” Soffin said. It would require extensive renovation to become office space, which was previously the MTA’s plan.

Last Thursday, Markowitz voiced his desire to see something happen, one way or the other. In a press release, he said: “While the rest of the surrounding business district has undergone tremendous and transformative growth, 370 Jay Street has languished in sidewalk scaffolding and a black scrim reaching to its highest floors to protect passersby from the structure’s crumbling facade. The impact of this building’s neglect cannot be understated. TRD