Demolition of historic Flatbush bank building begins

Community preservation groups find landmark designation would not matter

The Flatbush Savings Bank at 1045 Flatbush Avenue (Google Maps)
The Flatbush Savings Bank at 1045 Flatbush Avenue (Google Maps)

Community preservation groups were unable to stop the razing of a historic bank building in Flatbush.

Demolition has begun at the 94-year old Flatbush Savings Bank, at 1045 Flatbush Avenue next to the Kings Theatre, according to Bklyner.

Community activists such as Respect Brooklyn tried to get the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission to step in, but according to the commission, a historic designation would not have mattered anyway. (Contrary to popular belief, landmarks can be razed.)

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and the original architecture firm that designed the building also supported its preservation, to no avail.

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Activists argue that there has been a lack of landmark designations in Flatbush, which is leading to a loss of cultural and architectural character. The most recent landmark designation was the Sears Roebuck building in 2012.

Nehalkumar Gandhi, who purchased the bank building, plans to replace it with a nine-story, mixed-use building totaling 86,000 square feet, according to Bklyner. About 43,000 square feet will be for commercial use and 15,000 for residential.

Plans filed with the Department of Buildings indicate that the building will be a mixture of hotel rooms and apartments. It will also have space for an “ambulatory diagnostic/health rehabilitation” facility.

Gandhi is an active hotel developer in Brooklyn. He has projects in Williamsburg, Sunset Park, East New York and the Bronx.

[Bklyner] — Keith Larsen