The confidentiality agreement that blocked the mystery buyer of the Angel Guardian Home in Dyker Heights from coming forward to reveal his intentions for the block-sized complex has loosened enough for him to speak exclusively to this paper about his plans for the site, and how the community’s voice helped shape them.
Developer Scott Barone credited this paper’s extensive coverage of local needs and concerns since the property’s purchase last year with informing his decision to include a senior center, affordable housing, senior housing and perhaps a school along with the market-rate condos he had originally planned for the entire site — as well as preserving the main building, which locals have been pushing to landmark to protect it from the wrecking ball.
“We really heard three things from the community at large: that they need schools and senior housing, that the Narrows Senior Center is something that’s important to this community as a whole, and that this building is important to this neighborhood, and we’re going to do everything in our power to keep it there,” said Barone, the founder and president of his eponymous management company, which has previously developed hotels, luxury apartments, and office and commercial buildings across the city.
The developer said that he has already had meetings with the Landmarks Preservation Commission about the century-old main building, but his current plans are to preserve it as part of the final design, though he’s not yet sure what would go there.
“It is our intention at this time to keep that main building in place,” he said, “and if it were to be landmarked, we’re okay with that.”
Barone said he expects to close the Angel Guardian deal within the next two to three months — pending approval from the Vatican — and that 60 percent of the block-sized property bound by 63rd and 64th streets and 12th and 13th avenues will be devoted to market-rate condos, with an additional 15 percent earmarked for affordable housing and the last 25 percent split between senior housing and perhaps a school.