Southern Brooklyn

Tie Baron Seeks To Build 5-Story Retail Development On Kings Highway, East 16th Street

Source: Murdock Solon
Source: Murdock Solon

A real estate management company linked to the owner of one of the city’s leading necktie manufacturers and wholesalers has taken over a swath of Kings Highway real estate, with plans to redevelop the property into a five-story retail and office development.

Several stores on the northern side of the corridor, from East 16th Street to East 17th Street, have shuttered in recent months, including the area’s McDonald’s restaurant. The building appears to still be owned by Kingsway Realty, according to city records, which has had its name inscribed on the facade since taking over the property in 1973.

1601-1607 Kings Highway, where several stores have shuttered in recent months to make way for redevelopment.
1601-1607 Kings Highway, where several stores have shuttered in recent months to make way for redevelopment. (Photo by Ned Berke)

Now plans are being considered by the Department of Buildings to tear down the two-story structure occupying the 17,880-square-foot lot, originally built in 1930, and replace it with a brand new facility, anchored by two floors of retail shopping and three floors of office space.

The building is being designed by the architectural firm of Murdock Solon. Renderings on their website show an ultra-modern design, featuring large bulked-out windows, a patterned facade and setbacks with rooftop gardens to be viewed by the office workers on the upper levels.

With escalators drawn into the middle of the retail space, it appears the developer may be aiming to attract a large retail tenant to occupy the bulk of the space.

There is parking for 25 vehicles and five bicycles in the basement level of the property, according to documents submitted to the DOB. The new building will stand 79 feet tall, and have 67,355 square-feet of space.

Although Kingsway appears to still be the owner of the property according to ACRIS, the online database of the City Register, the plans were submitted to the DOB on behalf of Lake Realty Inc., naming Walter Schik as the officer.

Schik is an Austrian-Jewish immigrant who fled Nazi persecution. Resettled in New York, he founded Bentley Cravats in 1947, which manufactures neckties, bow ties and other neckware.

Lake Realty Management LLC, which appears to be the official name of the company as registered with the state, manages a handful of properties in Brooklyn and Manhattan, including a nearby apartment building at 1233 East 19th Street.

Calls to Schik’s office were not returned.

The plans for the new five-story building were rejected in March, with the Department of Buildings stating that the drawings were incomplete. Calls to Murdock Solon for a status update were not returned.

Photos via Murdock Solon.

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  1. Good job on getting this story. I have been hearing questions and rumors about that stretch of Kings Highway, and was going to raise the subject at next Tuesday’s Community Bd. 15 meeting. Just a block or 2 to the west and north of the location is over-saturated with medical-health-drug related facilities, and looks like a related campus. Next real estate-development question: what’s with all the apparent vacancies on Ave. U, especially bet Gerritsen. & Bedford Aves.?
    Let’s hope all these site owners get involved in keeping the properties clean.

  2. Looks like demolition has started. There’s some rent-a-hoists around the property and people are cleaning out the interiors.

  3. This doesn’t belong on Kings highway. Downtown Brooklyn maybe. This is

    a residential shopping district. It looks like it will be an eyesore. I wonder who approved the zoning changes to allow this to happen. That block has so many memories and so many great stores had to leave. This block was the center of Kings Highway. Destroyed by the powers that be with the stroke of a pen.

  4. I respectfully disagree that it looks like an eyesore. Whats there now is decrepit mismatched garbage, and the standard is higher than to show such old ugly stuff as soon as people get the heck out of NY five boros. Stop the suffering and start living like human beings, you will get used to after a little while..


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