Abandoned buildings blight Flushing Avenue

alternate textPhotos by Alex Hansen, www.alexhansenphotography.com

Across the street from the affordable housing complex Marcy Houses lies a block of Flushing Avenue that has been particularly hard-hit by recent construction stops. The block, which is predominately populated by Hasidic Jews, is located on the north side of Flushing Avenue, between Lee and Marcy avenues. The partially built block is situated on the border between Bedford-Stuyvesant and South Williamsburg.

At 587-589 and 591 Flushing Avenue sit two vacant seven-story condos, with a total of 30 units. The buildings are on the market as a package with an asking price of $15.75 million, according to real estate Web site Zillow.com. They do not have a certificate of occupancy, a Department of Buildings spokesperson said, meaning more work needs to be done before the building is ready for occupants.

Public records show that lender Wachovia filed lis pendens on the properties in late March. The developer, Flushing Avenue Realty LLC, borrowed $8.54 million from Wachovia in early 2006, after purchasing the parcel from the city for $1.975 million in 2003.

The buildings received a few offers that were not accepted during the six-month period that they were marketed through the commercial arm of Coldwell Banker Hunt Kennedy, said Shane Barbanell, who was handling the building’s sales before the company dissolved a couple of months ago. The condos were on the market, both as individual units and as a package deal with the two buildings.

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Barbanell is now director at Citysites Commercial Group, which is not marketing 587-591 Flushing Avenue. His exclusive on the building has expired, he said, and no one is marketing the property, though Barbanell mentioned that the owner “is still willing to sell at the correct price.”

A few doors down at 565 Flushing Avenue is an abandoned eight-story, 13-unit condo designed by Bricolage Design, which was in progress until receiving a stop-work order in November 2008. The developer, Flushing Unique Homes, failed to address the DOB’s objections to its design within a specified period of time, and was issued a stop-work order as a result, a spokesperson for the agency said. The developer did not return calls requesting comment.

And on the corner, at 605 Flushing Avenue, is the vacant, eight-story, seven-unit condo, owned by Marcy Villas LLC. It has been neglected since the company purchased the property for $5.55 million in 2007. The building also lacks a certificate of occupancy.

Among these blighted properties, there do lie residential buildings that are occupied. A four-story walk-up with ground-floor retail sits on the corner of Lee and Flushing avenues. At 543-61 Flushing Avenue, there is a row of identical seven-story condos that have been occupied since 2002. And a five-story, 39-unit prewar elevator building sits at 567 Flushing Avenue, adjacent to an abandoned lot gated with corrugated steel and barbed wire, and filled with lumber and dumpsters.

Three three-story walk-ups span 581 to 585 Flushing Avenue. There is a five-story, 14-unit condo at 593 Flushing Avenue, and another row of three walk-ups sits at 597, 599 and 601 Flushing Avenue.