Daily News: MTA finally moving from derelict headquarters in Brooklyn, promise to sell or rent building

 

By Erin Durkin

The MTA has finally moved to get rid of its derelict former headquarters in downtown Brooklyn.

The agency announced plans this week to sell off or rent the hulking, mostly vacant building at 370 Jay St. - after years of complaints from local officials that it's an eyesore.

"It's a game-changer for downtown Brooklyn," said Sen. Daniel Squadron (D-Downtown Brooklyn), who has urged the MTA to do something with the 14-story structure atop the Jay St. subway station which he said has been a "blight" on the neighborhood for too long.

The building, which is wrapped in scaffolding and dotted with graffiti, is owned by the city and leased to the MTA for a nominal fee.

The city and state plan to launch a joint search for a developer to rehab 370 Jay, most likely for office space.

"It is a keystone property right at the subway station and to have it in mothballs has been a real momentum stopper in the remaking of downtown Brooklyn," Squadron said. "They need to complete the task as quickly as possible."

It's one of nine properties the cash-strapped MTA plans to get rid of to raise money for construction and maintenance projects.

"While these revenues represent just a very small fraction of the MTA's capital funding needs, every bit helps," said MTA director of real estate Jeffrey Rosen.

The MTA had long drawn complaints for the shabby condition of the Jay St. subway hub and the building above it.

They finally renovated the station, but held onto the office building.

"370 Jay St. has remained a virtually vacant eyesore - at times obstructed by sidewalk scaffolding and an unsightly black scrim to protect passersby from the building's crumbling facade," said Borough President Marty Markowitz.

"Now, the city can finally move forward with plans to transform 370 Jay St. into a job-creating economic anchor."

Sheronda Nicks, 32, a student, said the makeover is long overdue.

"It is very disruptive," she said of the scaffolding that covers the block.

"It would be better if they do something with the building, take down the scaffolding and make it look nice."

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Publication date: 
Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 00:00