Park Slope

Landmarks Preservation Commission okays Lyceum’s makeover as a gym

July 21, 2015 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The new owner of the Lyceum building (r.) in Park Slope plans to turn it into a Blink Fitness location and construct an apartment building on a neighboring vacant lot (c). Rendering by Paperfarm
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Thus Saith the LPC: Go Forth — and turn the Lyceum into a gym.

The shut-down performing arts center on Fourth Avenue in Park Slope is going to be a Blink Fitness location.

The city Landmarks Preservation Commission gave its blessing to the project by voting unanimously Tuesday to approve alterations to the façade of the neo-Renaissance building at 227 Fourth Ave. that was the home of the Lyceum for two decades.

The vote took place after a public hearing at the preservation agency’s Lower Manhattan headquarters.

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“Fourth Avenue has become the land of Godzilla apartment buildings” — which makes the efforts of the Lyceum building’s new owner to renovate the historic landmark especially commendable, Commissioner Michael Devonshire said prior to the vote.

The 16,700-square-foot building was originally constructed as Public Bath No. 7. It was the first public bath in Brooklyn to have a swimming pool in it.

Commissioners gave Greystone Property Development the okay for exterior changes to the century-old building including the installation of a door at sidewalk level on Fourth Avenue, the hanging of neon signs inside the windows and the addition of mechanical equipment and railings on the roof.

The commissioners told Greystone to modify its plan to install single-pane windows in first-floor window openings. Instead, commissioners recommended multi-light windows for the first floor, to match up with those planned for the second floor.

The developer bought the individual city landmark for $7.6 million in a foreclosure sale, city Finance Department records indicate.

Under the ownership of Eric Richmond, the building housed the Lyceum — a popular venue for a range of entertainment from classical plays to an annual Mutt Show. Richmond is pursuing legal appeals to the foreclosure.

Richmond, who testified at the hearing against Greystone’s proposed building alterations, said to the Brooklyn Eagle after the commission’s vote, “The repeated due-process violations in federal and state court are enough to overturn the sale of the property to Greystone.”  

Greystone had initially revealed a plan to divide the iconic building on the corner of President Street into “townhome-style residences” — but later decided to use the entire thing to house a single commercial tenant. The developer recently announced the signing of a long-term lease deal with Blink Fitness for the space.

Greystone is constructing apartments next door to the Lyceum property — on a vacant lot at 225 Fourth Ave. A bulldozer was working at the fenced-in lot Monday, digging the earth.

Greystone has announced that 225 Fourth Ave. will be a 12-story rental-apartment building with some 68 units and 3,500 square feet of retail on its first floor. The firm paid $13.5 million for the vacant lot, according to Finance Department records.

In June, Greystone transferred unused air rights from the Lyceum building to the development site, an agreement filed with the Finance Department indicates.


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