City Taking Possession of Former Firehouse on Broome St.

A chapter is ending in the history of 185 Broome St., a 1930s-era firehouse, as the city’s Seward Park redevelopment project looms.

The firehouse at 185 Broome St. is destined to be demolished eventually, as part of the Seward Park redevelopment project.

The firehouse at 185 Broome St. is part of the Seward Park redevelopment project.

Last week, the city’s Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), which owns the building, served notice on longtime tenant Angel Aerial that it would assume possession of the premises as of July 19, and ordered the company to vacate. The property sits squarely in the seven-acre Seward Park redevelopment area, which is destined for a major construction project in the next few years.

According to the notice posted on the door, Angel Aerial’s lease expired in December 2012. Angel Aerial, which provides support vehicles and equipment for film production in and around the city, moved its main base of operations to Long Island City about three years ago, but continues to store trucks and materials in the two gated lots on either side of the property, which stretches from Clinton Street to Suffolk Street along the south side of Broome.

The Seward Park redevelopment parcels include 185 Broome St., here labeled as site number 4.

The Seward Park redevelopment parcels include 185 Broome St., here labeled as site number 5.

In 2010, before the Seward Park redevelopment plan was approved, Angel Aerial co-founder Jim Miller, floated a proposal to set up a sound stage in the blocks around the firehouse, saying it would draw economic development to the neighborhood. In recent years, Miller, who lives in the East River Housing co-op just a few blocks away, has hosted garage sales featuring former movie props and other eclectic items at the building. Angel Aerial employees did not respond to an inquiry from The Lo-Down.

Detailed plans for the Seward Park redevelopment project call for Broome Street to be a neighborhood-scaled retail corridor, the NYC Economic Development Corporation’s David Quart said last year. As part of the project, loading zones and curb cuts will be located on side streets, freeing up Delancey, Essex and Broome to be “active retail corridors,”  Quart said at the time. “It allows for Broome Street, which is the most intimate street in the middle of the development, to become a real neighborhood amenity more along the scale of the Lower East Side streets that everyone knows and loves. We see Broome Street as an opportunity to create an active corridor and we would encourage a retail corridor.”

The city gave notice to vacate the building last week.

The city gave notice to vacate the building last week.

 

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  • Joseph Hanania

    This former firehouse has character in an otherwise too bland area. Too bad it could not be repurposed and made part of SPURA. Here is hoping that redevelopment planning will emphasize creating and preserving character as well as commerce.