Demolition permits were filed and approved this week for a two-story office building at 232 East Broadway. The property, next door to the landmark-protected former Bialystoker Nursing Home building, is being readied for redevelopment.
There was a stir last week after the new owner, Rob Kaliner, painted over a Jewish heritage mural that had been part of the neighborhood for 43 years. Kaliner said he did it for safety reasons.
While no construction permits have been filed with the Department of Buildings, it is very likely that structures will go up on the lot where the office building now sits, as well as on the site of the former Dora Cohen park at the corner of Clinton Street and East Broadway. The Bialystoker building’s status as a city landmark will prevent its demolition.
In 2011, a former nursing home board president, developer Ira Meister, came under fire for acquiring the office building for just $1.5 million. The state attorney general reprimanded him and forced Meister to return the property. Kaliner recently purchased the three development lots for $47.5 million.
The building at 232 East Broadway played a bit part in pop culture. As fans of the HBO series, Flight of the Conchords know, the exterior was used to depict the fictitious New Zealand Consulate.