Eye On Real Estate
By Lore Croghan
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A little bit of decay — or in some cases, a lot — can be absolutely eye-catching.
Brooklyn's got its fair share of buildings whose decrepitude is part of their charm.
The historic buildings at the Brooklyn Navy Yard's hospital annex, weather-beaten and astonishingly beautiful, are stellar examples.
Love Among the Ruins? For the real estate-obsessed, yes indeed. ( A digression: Which do you think of first when you read that title, the Robert Browning poem or the Katharine Hepburn-Laurence Olivier movie?)
Once these properties capture our attention, of course we want to know all about them.
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On mild days, it's the same color as the sky.
The paint on 154 Sullivan St. is a startling shade of powder blue. It's flaking a bit, so some red-brick façade peeks through. The patina of age sits well on this picturesque Red Hook industrial building.
It's got high ceilings — property manager Howard Zelcer thinks it was constructed by a shipbuilder, and that's why — and beautiful skylights.
The eye-pleasing building's management has a vexing issue to deal with, though. The city has piled on fines for a mezzanine inside 154 Sullivan and “5 illegal SRO's,” meaning single-room occupancies, according to complaints in Buildings Department records.
“We had a tenant, a Chinese bus company. It had drivers taking people to Atlantic City,” said Zelcer, whose firm is called Providence Realty.
“Unbeknown to us, they were using a mezzanine for the drivers to sleep.”
That bus company is no longer a tenant. There are no sleepovers at 154 Sullivan. But there are unpaid fines which total more than $240,000, Buildings Department records indicate.
“I'm trying to work with a professional to do what we can” about the fines, Zelcer said.
“We were fined for the same violations repeatedly.
“We're being faulted for a mezzanine that was constructed by a previous owner. This is something that predated us,” he said.
“We want the Buildings Department to give us a fair shake.”
A different bus company is now a tenant at 154 Sullivan, which also uses 199 King St. as an address.
Charnie Rosenbaum, the sole member of Eclectic Properties Group LLC, which owns the building, did not respond to a request for comment by deadline.
The building was deeded to the LLC in 2006 by Eclectic Properties Inc., with the same person, Yisroel Lev, signing the deed for buyer and seller, city Finance Department records indicate.
Eclectic Properties Inc. bought both the powder-blue building plus neighboring 209 King St. in 2005 for a combined $950,000 pursuant to an order of the U.S Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, Finance Department records show.