One of Brooklyn’s true architectural treasures is hitting the sales market in an offering that could fetch well over $100 million and open up several tantalizing possibilities for downtown Brooklyn.
The former Dime Savings Bank of New York at 9 DeKalb Ave., a stately neo-Roman building with a domed roof and a grand interior that features a rotunda with colossal red marble columns, is being sold by owner JPMorgan Chase.
The bank has hired Bob Knakal, James Nelson and Stephen Palmese, brokers at Massey Knakal Realty Services, to market the property. Chase plans to vacate the branch after a sale and relocate to nearby 490 Fulton St. The sale could open the building, which is a landmark, to be repurposed as an events space. It would be Brooklyn’s version of the huge former Bowery Savings Bank hall across from Grand Central Terminal that is now occupied by caterer Cipriani and is one of Manhattan’s most famous and popular events venues.
“This is an incredible asset that is one of the best buildings to hit the market in Brooklyn,” Mr. Knakal said. “It holds a lot of exciting possibilities.”
An alternative would be to convert the building to retail use. Sources speculate that Apple, which has signed a deal for a store in Williamsburg and is rumored to be interested in a location in the area near the Barclays Center, could be a obvious candidate for the space if it becomes available.
Even more valuable than the building itself are the 285,000 square feet of development rights that come with the landmark. Residential construction in downtown Brooklyn is booming and the Dime Savings Bank building sits next to several potential development sites that could be the locations of some of the tallest towers in the borough.
Among those who could get a big height boost to their project is developer Michael Stern, who is planning to erect a residential tower at 340 Flatbush Ave. Extension that is eligible to receive additional air rights from the bank. The bank building also abuts the famous Brooklyn eatery Junior’s, whose owner has floated the idea in recent months of selling the property. A buyer of that site could also utilize the bank’s air rights to build a soaring tower.
The bank building is 100,000 square feet in total, with office and boardroom space tucked away on its second floor. It also has below-grade floors that hold bank vaults with massive steel doors, not to mention a firing range that guards once used to practice their shooting skills.