Seven Years And $7.5 Million Later, A 14-Story Dream Heads To Auction

A photo posted by a WiredNewYork forum user in 2005.

The old garage at 2554 East 16th Street, a corner property also known as 1515 Avenue Z, has sat empty for years, a home for stray cats, weeds and construction materials. But its owners had big development plans once.

A pair of developers bought the property in late 2004, with plans to build a 14-story mixed-use tower with a whopping 86,000 square feet. The unidentified owner (records list only “16 Ave Z LLC”) paid $7.5 million, and envisioned building 30 residential units atop a glass pedestal of 5,000 square feet of retail space, a 23,300-square-foot office space, 10,000 square feet of healthcare facilities, and 186 parking spaces, according to The Real Deal. A rendering went up at the site (above), boasting to neighbors who would ultimately have the neighborhood’s tallest building plopped down next to them.

Though plans were approved, the partnership quickly soured, and the development was never built. Local sources told Sheepshead Bites that, over the years, the owner has attempted to sell the property, asking for as much as $17 million.

Now, The Real Deal reports, the property is heading to auction, as the owners look to unload quickly. It’s one of three headlining properties in a $50 million commercial auction managed by Paramount Realty USA (another is a Sea Breeze Avenue condo site in Brighton Beach). Final bids are due June 9.

The property will sell with the plans pre-approved, so if it goes to a moneyed developer, that 14-story mixed-use tower could become a reality. It’ll be in good company: across Avenue Z, a developer is planning a nine-story office building and garage. And, from there, across Sheepshead Bay Road, a 22-story retail and residential center – Station Plaza – is also in the works.

Is Sheepshead Bay becoming a home to sky-scraping monoliths? Not likely. These three sites are the only locations in the area with the ability to build so high. And, with a sour economy, developers are finding it difficult to come up with the capital to get going – which is why 1515 Avenue Z is heading to auction in the first place, and also why a shovel has yet to hit dirt at Station Plaza.

Tip o’ the hat to Local Broker for The Real Deal link.


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