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Empty Lot in Boerum Hill to Become a Bank, Owner Says

By Heather Holland | June 20, 2012 2:11pm | Updated on June 20, 2012 2:48pm
The empty lot at the corner of Douglass and Smith streets will become a bank, its owner said.
The empty lot at the corner of Douglass and Smith streets will become a bank, its owner said.
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DNAinfo/Heather Holland

CARROLL GARDENS — An empty lot at the corner of Smith and Douglass Street that has stood unkempt and overgrown for years will be sold to a bank in the next few weeks, its owner revealed.

The property, a 5,000 square-foot empty lot located at 232 Smith St., has long become dilapidated since the buildings that once stood there were demolished.

Since then, the space has become dense with foliage and is adorned with a warped fence that gapes at the seams and leans into the adjacent sidewalks.

Finally, it appears, the derelict lot owned by Son Claire Realty LLC, a limited liability company owned by a Claire Palermo and her son, will soon be defoliated in favor of a temple of commerce to be erected on the site.

Palermo confirmed to DNAinfo that she intends to sell the lot to a bank, but declined to comment further about the planned sale.

The lot has lay fallow since 2008, when a stop-work order was placed on the property after its demolition permit expired and the property flunked a safety inspection, city records reveal.

Son Claire has raked up nearly $150,000 in unpaid violations from the Environmental Control Board over the years for transgressions that include failure to maintain the fence and for working without permits, according to Department of Buildings records.

The property currently has 48 open ECB violations, mostly for neglecting the crumbling fence that often comes apart and spills onto the sidewalk, according to the agency.

The owners have yet to pay their fines and to comply with safety standards set by the ECB, agency records reveal.

Local residents said they were pleased that the lot would be developed, but suggested other uses.

“Another bank?” said Michael Barker, a resident of Cobble Hill. “Well, if it’s a TD Bank, then hooray for convenience, but other than that, I’d like to see a live music venue come here.”

“Who needs another bank?” said Joan Heyman, who has lived in the neighborhood for at least 30 years.

“I don’t want too many cars or people here. The density of the place has gotten too thick. What the neighborhood needs is an indoor parking garage, one big enough to service neighborhood owners and extra space for renters and visitors.

"It is about taking care of the people who support the neighborhood,” she said.