Corner of Smith Street and Third Street, looking North
Lee Brothers Garage at 375 Smith Street
New development at 360 Smith Street, which is located directly across the street from Lee Brothers Garage
Thursday, January 30th
I am happy to report that I just received an email from a reader indicating that Lee Brothers at 375 Smith Street is open this morning. That's great news and hopefully an indication that the garage was only temporarily closed. That's great news.
"What's up with Mr Lee Auto Repair on Smith and 3rd [Street]? The sign on the gate says closed indefinitely . I gotta get my car inspected before the end of the month."
I grabbed my camera and walked over to Lee Brothers Auto & Body Repair garage at 375 Smith Street, and sure enough, a notice has been taped to the door, informing that the shop will be closed until further notice.
Of course, there could be many reasons for the closure. Let us hope that the Lees will re-open soon.
But one has to wonder if this may have to do with the fact that the garage sits on one of the most desirable lots in one of the most coveted neighborhoods of Brooklyn.
Perhaps, a developer has made the Lee Brothers, who own the site, an offer that they could not refuse? Maybe the brothers will develop it themselves, as they indicated a few years back.
According to the Carroll Gardens contextual rezoning, which was approved in 2009, the site is in an R6B zone, with a height limit of 50 feet and a commercial overlay fronting Smith Street
The Carroll Gardens community pushed for the contextual re-zoning and height limit in part because of the opposition to 360 Smith Street, the 70 feet building right across the street.
Though the Lee's building is rather run down, it was once the Court Theatre, a neighborhood movie theatre. Some details of its past are still visible on parts of the façade. Here is a link to an old tax photo from 1928 that shows the theatre.
Sometime in the 1940, the structure was changed into a gas station. In the 1980's the pumps were taken out, but the repair garage remained.
More on the building's history can be found here.
For those who need their car inspected or repaired in the meantime, ChickenUnderwear reports back that he took his car to Mr. Nam on Baltic Street and was very satisfied.