The Real Deal New York

Can they? Nonprofit wants to collect 60 million cans to buy $3M East Williamsburg site

Sure We Can enlists help to buy 219 McKibbin Street
August 05, 2016 11:06AM

219 McKibbin Street in East Williamsburg (cedit: Sure We Can)

219 McKibbin Street in East Williamsburg (credit: Sure We Can)

Here’s a new way to buy real estate in New York: collect cans. A nonprofit can and bottle redemption facility in East Williamsburg is enlisting can collectors’ help in collecting tens of millions of cans in order to buy their headquarters from the current owners.

The nonprofit, Sure We Can, said the property at 219 McKibbin Street was previously shopped for $3 million. At five cents a pop, that’s 60 million cans.

“If this closes a lot of people will lose these opportunities,” Director Augustina Besada told DNAinfo. About 500 people — 400 of them full-time canners — use the facility daily.

In 2014, the organization signed a five-year lease to pay more than $4,000 per month, according to prior reports.

The property owned by the Perez family, and Sure We Can has a verbal agreement to purchase the site when the lease expires next year.

Sure We Can co-founder Eugene Gadsden said his facility not only helps can collectors — who can earn $40 to $50 per day — but helps the environment. “The earth we live in, we’re running out of space,” he said. [DNAinfo]E.B. Solomont