Eye On Real Estate: Structural modifications for iconic former squatters' haven slated to become artists' studios
By Lore Croghan
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Somebody alert Robin – the reconstruction of the Batcave has begun.
The graffiti-crowned industrial building across the street from the new Gowanus Whole Foods doesn't belong to Batman's alter ego Bruce Wayne.
Squatters and graffiti artists devised the soubriquet for the building at 322 Third Ave. – which history buffs know as the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Power House.
Joshua Rechnitz bought the century-old building for $7 million last year with a plan to turn it into artists' studios. He's the man who offered Brooklyn Bridge Park $40 million for a field house with a velodrome, then later changed his mind.
In October, the city Buildings Department approved a plan for structural modifications to reinforce the Batcave – the first filing submitted to the department in a decade. A man with a bulldozer was outside the storied red-brick building this week, hard at work.
“We've made progress,” the new owner's spokeswoman, Maureen Connelly, said. “We're not at the design or programming stage yet.”
Before this, “extensive cleanup” was done, and the site was secured to stop trespassers, she said.