BOERUM HILL — A drug treatment center has been approved to move onto Atlantic Avenue on one condition: it can't look like a drug treatment center.
Brooklyn's Community Board 2 backed the relocation of New Directions alcohol and chemical abuse treatment center to 500 Atlantic Ave. as long as the "storefront appearance is in line with the retail nature of the street," the board said Wednesday night.
The stipulation came after members of the merchant community on Atlantic Avenue complained about the uninviting look of the current New Directions facility located a few blocks away at 202 Flatbush Ave.
"We have a picture of what their current facility looks like and there are no windows," said an Atlantic Avenue BID board member. "[They also have] an extremely large sign and we’d like them to work with the business community to redo the façade."
Local business owners encouraged New Directions make their façade similar to the of nearby Memorial Sloan Kettering — a cancer treatment and research institution — that has "smaller awnings and artwork in the lobby to be open and friendly to patients inside and pedestrians outside," according to a flyer handed out at the meeting.
"Let's make it more attractive and more in harmony with what’s there," CB2 member Lawrence Whiteside said.
New Directions officials did not respond to a request for comment on the new stipulation. But New Directions director Mark Salomon did disapprove of a request for security cameras during a meeting on Dec. 4 because of the confidential nature of the services they provide.
Salomon said at the Dec. 4 meeting that he would do his best to make the new space welcoming.
"It’s not a retail store but we have architects who are designing the space and the front will be attractive," he said. "We are maintaining the glass. We are not closing up the glass. The final design, I cannot answer in the moment, but it will certainly be in keeping with the neighborhood."
New Direction's existing lease expires on March 31. The center's landlord on Flatbush Avenue declined to renew it because of the real estate boom near the Barclays Center, a representative for the center said.