Tuesday, November 29, 2011
We've been keeping an eye on the long-empty 185-193 Avenue B for the past few years. The address was a movie theater for many years, first the Bijou in 1926, then the Charles. (The theater closed in 1975, and a church took over the space.) A fire nearly destroyed the building in October 2006.
There had been talk of fixing up the place for the tenant — the Elim Pentecostal Church. But those plans never panned out. In June 2010, we toured the space between 11th Street and 12th Street with the Rev. Carlos Torres. (See that post here.)
And to rehash from a previous post: He had plans to sell the space to a developer. The ground-floor would house the church and a community center. The upper levels of the new building would be designated for some combination of housing. Torres didn't have a timeline for any of this; and there seemed to be a lot of red tape involved in any plans. However, what was clear from the conversation: The building was beyond repair and needed to come down.
Yesterday, a few workers continued to haul out some debris from inside the building ...
There is a demolition application on file already with the city (dated Sept. 20). And, according to the DOB, plans for a mixed-use seven-story building with 44 units were "disapproved" last Monday.
The DOB lists Conrad Roncati, CEO and principal of Architectura in Edgewater, N.J., as the architect. That firm's portfolio includes numerous mixed-use, commercial, residential and religious buildings. The Architectura site didn't include any renderings for this project.
We're waiting to hear what they next steps are here.
Previously on EV Grieve:
Revival planned for church and theater on Avenue B
Inside the Charles
Former landmark countercultural theater now for rent on Avenue B