Friday, November 19, 2010

Big Changes Coming To The Windowless Cinderblock Building At 166 Smith Street


photo credit: Loop Net

It will take a lot of imagination, work and money to transform the ugly box building at 166 Smith Street into a retail store or restaurant. But anyone brave enough to attempt to do so can now rent the 4,800 square foot space and to make things a bit easier, the owner will install a new storefront "with tenant's design input." The rent is negotiable, but since this is one of the largest commercial spaces on Smith Street, it is sure to be sizable.

Plans have also been filed (but were disapproved in June 2010) with the NYC Department of Buildings to add two additional floors to the existing structure. The architect listed on the application is Alfred Menziuso of Grasso Menziuso Architects, the firm behind the Williamsburg apartment building which collapsed in April of this year.

Some work was underway last week when I took the photos above.

The building was used for years by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for storage and for a base of operations during repairs on the F and G subway lines.

I would love to know about the history of the building and how it ended up with the cinderblock faƧade in the first place. Does anyone know?



frencheese said...

Hi Katia,
The picture shows that there is no building alignment on Wyckoff street. What are the rules?

Anonymous said...

It used to be a Rent-a-Ceter showroom. Then the MTA took it over maybe 15 years ago and created the fortress it is today. I vaguely remember that there was a huge distruption (fire?) at Bergen Street and the trains could not switch tracks so the MTA neded the space to support the effort. I remember store catered to the folks in the projects down on Hoyt St.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't that place once a huge furniture store? I can't remember the name only the gaudy furniture.

Katia said...

How could I forget. Of course it was the Rent-A-Center and yes, it did have some rather ugly furniture.
Thanks for reminding me.

Francheese, I hadn't noticed it. You are right. But aren't there other corner buildings that do not align with buildings on the side streets? I'll have to pay attention

Anonymous said...

Before it was Rent-a-Center, it was the original home of Videomania.

Anonymous said...

Back in the '80s it was a furniture store--J. Michael's, perhaps?

Anonymous said...

J. Michaels was where Rite Aid now is.

Katia said...

Yes, I was going to say that. Back then, the Michaels/ Rite Aid building was painted in a funny green.

Anonymous said...

certainly was a furniture store before videomania although could have been vacant before they moved in.
I don't think MTA owns bldg but the lease it.
Supposedly when they were finished putting in whatever it is they put in (MTA) they were going to rent out street level and above.
Has been a very slow process and
disgrace to MTA.

baa said...

I remember as a kid in the 1950s this was an A&P supermarket, it had an elevator to go to the basement with your cart. it caught on fire but I don't think that was the reason the store moved to the corner of Smith and Baltic St. in the early 1960s. across the street on the south east corner of Wyckoff and Smith St. was J. Kurts furniture store, J. Michael's furniture store painted green was on my block of Warren St.