The Brooklyn Eagle reported over the holiday weekend on the progress, or lack thereof, in renting out the former Starbucks space at 112 Montague Street. The chain moved to 134 Montague Street over a year ago.
The paper reports it’s been slow going and as a BHB commenter noted when we reported on the spot’s fifth month of vacancy, the landlord appears to want a hefty price for the prime location:
I called the landlord a few months ago on behalf of a client who was interested in the space. His asking price was ridiculous — I believe it was $40,000/mo (but I forget the exact number). He also denied that there were any plumbing issues or leaks. Maybe that is true. I have no idea. More troubling, however, was that he was a complete jerk on the phone. I called my client and advised that even if the asking rent was in the right ballpark, I would have serious reservations with this guy as his landlord. When you are a restauranteur or retailer, the landlord is, in many respects, like your partner. If you have a difficult one, it spells disaster. This guy was aggressive, abrasive and squirmy on the phone. We went elsewhere. Too bad.
In that same thread, others noted there was a gap of 2 -3 years between tenants before Starbucks moved in as BHB commenter/King Of Hillside Dog Park Matthew Parker noted:
FYI, prior to Starbucks, that entire building was vacant for many years. When I moved into a commercial Montague St. location in 1993, I looked at the space, but the landlord wanted $15k back then. I settled on a location a few doors down that cost $3.4/month.
Not sure what year Starbucks moved in, but it was likely 1998-9ish, and the location was empty with a small “For Rent” sign it from at least 1993-8, and likely much before that.
And while the property has remained vacant for over a year, its main broker Nathan Royce Siverstein tells the Eagle that it is not for sale. However, that hasn’t stopped some nearby residents (or actually the Eagle) from speculating a new owner and renovation lay ahead:
Brooklyn Eagle: Because 112 Montague has sat empty for so long, there’s speculation it will be sold and a new building constructed to match the height of the five-story brownstone next door to it.
The owners of the Remsen Street homes behind the building would fight tooth and nail against new construction at the site, one of them told Eye on Real Estate.
“It’s not a good idea to build there,” Zack Kaplan said. “It would eliminate the light and air at my house and others on either side of it.”
Property owners on the Remsen block between Henry and Hicks Streets are a determined bunch, he hinted by pointing out their success in getting a Citi Bike parking location moved. They would put a stop to any plan for a taller building at 112 Montague, he assured The Eye.
“It will not happen,” Kaplan said. “It will be fought in the court and the city for so many years.
“The cost to defend a suit would make it economically not feasible for the developer.”