The Real Deal reports that Brooklyn Law School, which has owned 2 Pierrepont Street, a twelve story postwar apartment building at the corner of Pierrepont Street and Pierrepont Place, for the last thirty years and used it as faculty and student housing, has put the building up for sale. The school paid $2.2 million for the building, so stands to make a substantial profit; its president, Nicholas Allard, is quoted in the Real Deal as saying that the board of trustees thought it wise to sell it “while the real estate market in Brooklyn Heights is at a peak.” Is it really downhill from here?
The Real Deal story also speculates that a new owner might decide to tear the building down. This is an unsettling prospect for your correspondent, who lives in an adjacent building. In my view, though, it’s highly unlikely. Any new structure built on the site would arguably be subject to the fifty foot height limit that applies throughout the Brooklyn Heights Historic District (2 Pierrepont was built before the Historic District was designated). Some years ago a developer bought the old Margaret Hotel, at the corner of Columbia Heights and Orange Street, and was converting it to luxury apartments when it caught fire and was destroyed. After some controversy, the developer was allowed to build a building of equal height on the site. I doubt, though, that the Landmarks Preservation Commission would be as lenient to a developer who deliberately took down a building and sought to replace it with one of equal height.