Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Planned demolition of 475 Dean means more "urban room" on crucial block

Though it hasn't been announced yet in a press release, Forest City Ratner "in the near future" intends to demolish 475 Dean Street (Lot 48 on the map at right), according to a 3/15/07 notice sent to Community Board 6 by the developer.

This demolition was not part of the developer's recent press release, nor has Forest City yet applied for a demolition permit. (For all the other demolitions announced to CB 6, permits are in process.) As I wrote last week, Lot 13 has been vacant for a while and lots 19, 20, 55, and 56 were made vacant after demolitions next year. Announced are demolitions of lots 10, 11, 12, 18, 22, 30, and 54--filling in the grey color in the map above. The largest plot, Lot 1, a gas station, is largely absent of structures.

Plaintiffs occupy lots 21, 27, 50, 46, 43, and the square above 43. Now 475 Dean, which is set back from the street in the center of the photo at right, will add to the "urban room." (The photo comes from a 7/25/06 New York Times article headlined Blight, Like Beauty, Can Be in the Eye of the Beholder.)

The former garment factory at 475 Dean was turned into artists' lofts; WNYC radio's Andrea Bernstein last year reported on some of the artists who were forced to relocate; those interviewed said that Forest City had given them a fair deal. Relocation contracts often require sellers to speak positively of the developer. (New York Voices also ran a story about the building.)

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