‘Peace Pentagon’ Stores on Lafayette Street Vacated Ahead of Demolition and Redevelopment 

Posted on: February 11th, 2016 at 5:12 am by
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Earlier this month, the historic Peace Pentagon on Lafayette Street was given its final marching orders. Namely, that all ground-level stores must vacate by the end of the month. Just like that, a handful of small businesses are forced out.

Blame multi-millionaire real estate baron Aby Rosen (aka RFR Realty), who purchased the long-troubled property for $20.75 million last October. The building – owned and operated by the A.J. Muste Institute since 1974 – had reportedly been under contract since the previous June. You can guess what happens next. Demolition and condos. Naturally.

While there are no permits on file with the Department of Buildings just yet (for demolition or new building), one of the holdout shopkeepers relays word that all stores must be out by February 29. When pressed on the reason, we were told that the new owner wants to demolish the structure to build more condos.

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Cushman & Wakefield spelled out the particulars of the zoning parameters for the developer:

The site holds a base buildable square footage of approximately 16,275 at a 5.0 FAR and a buildable square footage of approximately 21,158 at a 6.50 FAR for community facility. It is zoned M1-5B, allowing for commercial, hotel and live-work as-of right. Although located in an M1-5B district, a developer could seek a special permit for residential, as multiple nearby projects have obtained a variance in order to construct residential condominiums.

Meanwhile, it’s a sad sight beneath that scaffolding, a life support mechanism that will soon be unplugged. Every single store carries a “going out of business” sign of some sort. Victims include the nascent pet shop Love Thy Beast, the decades-old KD boutique (since 1983), and the BrowNY International thrift shop, which already found a new location on Second Avenue.

We’ll keep you posted…

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