Photo: Last Remnants Of Garage On East 16th Street, Avenue Z Demolished

Contractors demolished the 38-year-old garage at 1515 Avenue Z this morning, eliminating the last remaining marker of the mechanic and gas station that formerly occupied the East 16th Street corner.

The owners, October Sky LLC, purchased the property at auction for $4.75 million last year, and told Sheepshead Bites in February they’d be turning it into a parking area. In the last few weeks, contractors put down gravel, painted parking lines, and opened up the lot for monthly parking tenants.

The added parking spaces are not only a boon to commuters and Sheepshead Bay Road’s parking starved businesses, but also for October Sky. It could lead to the eventual legalization of a nearby development at 1401 Avenue Z, which was constructed without the necessary number of parking spots. The developer previously filed plans to build a nine story mixed-use building across the street at 1508 Avenue Z (a.k.a. 1501(c) Sheepshead Bay Road), filling it with offices and a 101-car parking garage, which October Sky hoped to split between the new building and the East 14th Street one, bringing it within the boundaries of the law.

Those plans were nixed, however, after local leaders blasted it, saying that it would create a traffic nightmare to have a valet parking garage of that size on congested Avenue Z.

More parking in the area will undoubtedly be welcomed by locals. But I, for one, really miss filling up my bicycle tires

for free

at the old station as a kid. But those days – days of free air and gas stations in Sheepshead Bay – are long gone.

Thanks to Andrea Coyle for the tip!