The Bergen Beach Civic Association held its first meeting of 2023, which also happened to be its first meeting since November 2022, at the Hudson River Yacht Club on March 14th to give updates on community construction, crime and more.
The 110,000-square-foot Falco-Tully construction and crane yard on East 69th Street, between Avenues V and W, is up for sale for $25 million, according to Civic Association President Sal Calise.
The yard and associated building comprise three separate lots, all being sold together as one by the owner. Before anything can be done with the land, all of the soil needs to be remediated, meaning the layers with toxins from the construction company need to be removed and replaced with new ground.
Calise said that these lots would likely be bought by a big corporation due to the price tag and how much waterfront property is included.
“You’re gonna get a deep-pocketed person to spend $25 million,” he said. “If a developer is going to get $25 million, you’re gonna get a big developer there, like the guy who did the Atlantic Yards, Siperstein or you may get Catsimatidis, the guy that owns Gristedes who’s now building those high-rises in Coney Island.”
The Falco yard is a M1-5 zone, which is a zone for light manufacturing in New York City. Lots in an M1-5 zone can be developed for manufacturing, commercial and community facilities. This encompasses a large range of possibilities, including woodworking, industrial, retail, storage — even hospitals and houses of worship. Calise estimated, though, that the land would likely be purchased by a company like FedEx.
“There are a lot of eyes on that lot right now,” Calise said.
Another Bergen Beach property up for sale is the empty lot on Avenue U and East 71st Street. Calise said the owner of that land wants to sell it to a large pharmacy like a CVS, but that there have been no buyers yet due to the unusual shape of the lot. It also has the potential to be leased to a private company for storage.
A brown mansion on Avenue W and East 69th Street is also for sale by its owner, the Church of Fire and Miracles, which is located in East New York.
The church had wanted to convert the home into a house of worship but will be unable to do so because it has foundational issues due to water leakage and resulting mold. It would cost the church much more to get the issue resolved than to just get rid of it, so it’s being sold at $2.3 million.
Due to the zoning of the lot, the house can only be built into another house. At the selling price, the church is having a hard time finding buyers for a home that needs to be knocked down, only to build another home on top of it.
Three Neighborhood Coordination Officers (NCOs) from the 63rd Precinct gave a crime report at the meeting. Neither of the NCOs who are assigned to Bergen Beach were able to attend, so officers from the other sectors filled in.
As is the issue all over the 63rd and 69th Precincts, Bergen Beach has been dealing with abandoned and derelict cars and trucks. A tow truck came around on March 8th to remove abandoned cars, but if the tow lot was filled, it’s possible that cars were left behind in the community until the next tow rotation.
Another prevalent crime in Bergen Beach is catalytic converter theft. The precinct’s Crime Prevention Officer offers catalytic converter and bicycle etching for free. If the bike or converter gets stolen, this will allow them to be traceable.
“I work for Customs and Border Protection, and you would be amazed at how many catalytic converters we get that for some reason end up being shipped. We find the etching and from the etching we can find whose car it was, where it came from, what neighborhood it came from,” Calise said.
Other crimes in the area include the theft of cars that have been left on and/or running, local teens driving donuts in the middle of the night on wide streets and thefts at Kings Plaza Mall.