Brooklyn Eagle HQ Sale – Flying Too High?

The Brooklyn Eagle’s headquarters at 30 Henry Street has been sold to the Fortis Group. They are reportedly determined to replace it with a 65 foot, 6 story condo structure, 15 feet higher than currently allowed in the Brooklyn Heights Historic District.

This is a curious farewell to Brooklyn Heights for the Eagle. They also publish the Brooklyn Heights Press, credited, along with its then-publisher Richard Margolies for playing an integral role in establishing our beloved historic district in 1965 which to this day protects the character of the Heights. Ironically, that paper’s exit from the area now brings with it questions as to whether the very “height” constraints it helped to usher in will be honored or destroyed with its HQ’s sale.

Get ready for a tussel, but does the developer have the muscle? And so it goes… Read some of the Eagle’s account after the jump.

Brooklyn Eagle: The height of the proposed new building will likely be an issue for local organizations and nearby residents since the property sits within the historic district’s 50-foot height limit.

According to the Eagle’s publisher, Dozier Hasty, the building was sold to the Fortis Group, which has notified him that the newspaper must vacate the building by the end of January.

“By the end of November, we can announce our plans for our new location,” Hasty told his staff.Public records do not show that the property has changed hands, but it has been on the market for months with an asking price of $3 million. The sale was handled by Massey Knakal Realty’s Stephen Palmese, first vice president, and Winfield Clifford and Michael Mazzara, both associates, who told the Eagle Thursday the closing is imminent but the negotiated price could not be revealed.

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  • Daffy Duck

    Is Bloomberg in the developer’s pocket? That will determine the outcome. The LPC is a sham.

  • Topham Beauclerk

    It’s a very ugly building.

  • Kat

    I’m excited for anything that brings development and foot traffic to the northern parts of Henry Street — way too many empty storefronts.

  • nabeguy

    Did something happen to Henry Street since I left? As I recall, there were a total of 2 empty storefronts on it between Orange and Cranberry, and one of them has been filled. What else is closed? Did Great Wall finally succumb to the DOH before we succumbed to food poisoning?

  • bornhere

    Is this really a “farewell to Brooklyn Heights” for the Eagle and Heights Press? Are they completely leaving the neighborhood??

  • BH’er

    @Kat – I agree development would be beneficial but I would stop short of taking Anything.

    Some development on the slope would help bring up the area but I would be cautious about just what should be allowed to go up. More foot traffic and neighborhood businesses would be great, especially so close to High St & Clark St stations

  • Cranberry Beret

    On another website, I read that they don’t plan on any retail. So 5-6 units of condos unit isn’t exactly going to bring a lot of new foot traffic.

    The height issue is curious. The application says the perimeter wall will be 50 feet (the limit) but overall will be 65. Not sure why they think they’ll get away with an extra 15…mechanicals/stairwells/etc can go above the perimeter but they’ll be hard-pressed to build habitable space above that, even if not visible from the street. Two Trees tried this on Atlantic Avenue (next to Trader Joe’s) and got caught (I believe they actually had to take off the rooms on the roof).

    Also curious is that the application is for square footage far in excess of what’s allowed by the zoning code for this spot. My understanding is there are certain exceptions (example, if they include a community facility) but they don’t plan on that. Again, not sure what variance they think they have a chance of obtaining.

    I also read that the BHA landmark’s committee has already disapproved. Anyone with more info on this?

  • Gerry

    Anything that owner/publisher’s wall street wife is close to i would be wary of she is the one who was nailed frauduelenty using a NYC Handicapped Parking Placard this woman is beyond contempt.

  • AEB

    Nabe, with the exception of the arrival of Bevacco, Henry remains as it did when you left it.

    The only Change at Great Wall is a posting of a health-inspections grade, a C. As in contumely,…