Brooklyn Heights

Will the Landmarks Preservation Commission approve 200 Montague St.’s demolition?

Midtown Equities wants to tear down Brooklyn Heights office building

January 7, 2019 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The building at left is 200 Montague St., whose owner has filed for a permit to demolish it. Eagle photos by Lore Croghan
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Brace yourself for a new round of construction on Montague Street.

Another building on a busy block of the Brooklyn Heights commercial corridor will be torn down — if the city Landmarks Preservation Commission allows it.

Midtown Equities, which owns 200 Montague St., has filed for a demolition permit for the low-rise office property.

It’s in a landmarked area called the Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District.

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The building’s location within a historic district means the property owner cannot demolish 200 Montague St. or change its exterior without the city Landmarks Preservation Commission’s approval.

Real estate website New York YIMBY was first to report Midtown Equities’ demolition plan for the building, which is also known as 192 Montague St. and 192-200 Montague St.

Manhattan-based Midtown Equities, which is the Cayre family’s real estate investment and development firm, is best known in Brooklyn for its meticulous redevelopment of the landmarked Empire Stores coffee warehouses in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

As of yet, Midtown Equities has not applied to the Landmarks Preservation Commission for permission to tear down 200 Montague St., agency spokeswoman Zodet Negron told the Brooklyn Eagle.

“But an application to demolish and replace it would require a public hearing and determination by the full commission,” she said.


Midtown Equities Has Owned the Building Since 2007

Midtown Equities principal Jack Cayre did not respond by deadline to the Eagle’s requests for comment about 200 Montague St.

The developer has not filed permit applications for new construction, so it’s unclear whether the Cayres want to build offices or apartments.

The existing building at 200 Montague St. is an integral part of the Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District.

Lafayette Safe Deposit Company constructed 200 Montague St. in 1959 and 1960.

Around that time, the financial institution also constructed a 12-story office building at 175 Remsen St., which is located directly behind 200 Montague St., the designation report about the Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District says.

Architect Philip Birnbaum designed both buildings.

Initially, 200 Montague St. was two floors tall. In 1968, the third and fourth floor were added.

HSBC Bank, which later became the owner of 200 Montague St., put a new facade on the building in 2006.

Midtown Equities bought 200 Montague St. from the bank through an LLC for $25 million in 2007, city Finance Department records indicate.

Fedcap Rehabilitation Services, a nonprofit contract provider for the city Human Resources Administration, is a tenant on 200 Montague St.’s second, third and fourth floors.

A branch of HSBC Bank, which had remained as a rental tenant on the ground floor after selling the building, moved to another Montague Street building after its lease at 200 Montague St. expired.   


Three Developments on the Block

Most of the other buildings on Montague Street stand within the boundaries of another landmarked area called the Brooklyn Heights Historic District.

But a small portion of the Montague Street block between Clinton and Court streets — which is where 200 Montague St. is located — falls outside the boundaries of both the Brooklyn Heights Historic District and the Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District.

In recent years, developers have constructed new buildings on three different unlandmarked sites on this block:


* Jonathan Rose Cos. is currently completing work on The Pierrepont, an 86-unit rental building at 189 Montague St. Marvel Architects designed the building, which consists of two towers, each 19 stories tall, connected by a two-story base. One tower is on Montague Street. The other is at 146 Pierrepont St., which is the development’s main address. Available apartments listed on real estate website range in price from a one-bedroom unit for $4,350 per month to a three-bedroom unit for $10,250 per month.


* A couple years ago, Bonjour Capital finished constructing a 19-story apartment building at 172 Montague St. Daniel Goldner Architects designed the 62-unit rental building. A studio at 172 Montague St. is available for a monthly rent of $2,976, says. There’s an available 2-bedroom unit for a monthly rent of $5,301.


* In 1998, developer Ian Bruce Eichner built a 33-story rental-apartment tower at 180 Montague St.

His real estate firm is called The Continuum Company.

The tower at left is 180 Montague St. The beige building in the center of the picture is 146 Pierrepont St., which has a Montague Street facade.
The tower at left is 180 Montague St. The beige building in the center of the picture is 146 Pierrepont St., which has a Montague Street facade.

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  1. OM-Fiesta💃🌶️🕺

    I’ll be interested to hear arguments against. Looks like a pretty basic and uninteresting office building to me. Not really in context with the historical nature of the area.

  2. Cranberry Beret

    The article correctly notes up top that 200 Montague is in the Skyscraper landmark district, but later incorrectly states that it’s not.

    YIMBY stories about “demolition permits have been filed” need to be put into context. No one said the building is going to be “torn down.” Most likely they’ll propose to build on top. (It’s a low-rise building in a landmark district that has Skyscraper in its name!) Yes, they’re going to demolish some hidden part that’s required to build a tower on top. Yes, any demolition (even unseen) requires a demolition permit. Yes, the addition on top will require Landmarks approval.