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Former Sunset Park NYPD Precinct House Hits Market for $6 Million

By Nikhita Venugopal | March 6, 2015 2:19pm | Updated on March 6, 2015 6:09pm
 The former 68th Precinct at 4302 Fourth Ave. in Sunset Park.
The former 68th Precinct at 4302 Fourth Ave. in Sunset Park.
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Flickr/Matt Green

SUNSET PARK — Two landmarked buildings that once housed an NYPD precinct house have hit the market for $6 million, according to a real estate listing.

The property, located at 4302 Fourth Ave. at 43rd Street, is being sold with up to 35,000 buildable square feet for a residential conversion, according to the listing from TerraCRG, which is representing the owner in the sale.

The former 68th Precinct house and stable is described as a “Romanesque Revival castle-like structure” and was built in 1886, according to the listing.

Only the exterior of the buildings, which are adjacent to each other, has been landmarked.

Both buildings on the site are vacant and require a complete gut renovation. The two-story building is 5,952 square feet and the three-story building is 14,040 square feet. In addition, there are 14,567 square feet of available air rights, "some of which may be utilized on the property," the listing said.

The price-per-square-foot for condos in Sunset Park is expected to reach $850, according to the listing, which also stated that new construction residential rents in the neighborhood could reach $50 per square foot.

Years of neglect have left the historic buildings in a state of disrepair after they were purchased in 1999 by the Brooklyn Chinese-American Association, an organization that offers social services and education programs for local youth and adults.

The nonprofit bought the property with plans to restore the buildings and reopen the site as a community center, the New York Daily News reported.

The stately structure’s condition has since deteriorated and the owners were slapped with a violation by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission in 2011 for “failure to maintain the building,” DNAinfo New York previously reported.

The Brooklyn Chinese-American Association, which still lists the address as a “Landmark Community Center” on its website, did not respond to requests for comment.

Landmarks officials had planned to sue the nonprofit earlier this year, in hopes of forcing the owner to restore the buildings or sell them to someone who could make the necessary repairs, the Daily News reported.  

The property was recently sold to local Brooklyn developers, according to Melissa Warren, a partner with TerraCRG. A spokeswoman for LPC also confirmed a recent sale but neither Warren nor city officials provided additional details regarding the transaction.

However, property records still list the Brooklyn Chinese-American Association as the owner of the buildings. A stop-work order from 2009 still exists on the property, according to the Department of Buildings.

Tony Giordano, of Sunset Park Restoration, a group that has been calling on city officials to help save the buildings, said he hoped the new owners would restore the exterior back to its former glory.

“The exterior was in very, very serious neglect,” he said. “No matter what happens, the new owners would have to repair the outside in accordance with the historic preservation of the building.”

Giordano was not aware of any sale by the Brooklyn Chinese-American Association.

“It hurts that [the nonprofit] didn’t do anything all these years and now they get rewarded,” said Giordano, who also runs the popular “Sunset Parker” Facebook page.

But a sale and complete restoration of the historic property would be a “good thing” for the neighborhood and the 43rd Street corridor, which also includes an entrance to the neighborhood’s public park and the landmarked Sunset Park courthouse, Giordano noted.

“At least we’ll always have the building there for us to look at,” he said.