Cherry Hill Gourmet Market at Lundys in Sheepshead Bay

Photo by Ray Johnson

We’ve long covered the struggles of Cherry Hill Gourmet Market and its owners, who dumped millions into renovating the space in the historically landmarked Lundy’s building (1901 Emmons Avenue) only to face opposition from local leaders about zoning and preservation violations.

To sum it up: some local leaders and activists bristled that Cherry Hill’s owners gave more floor space to its grocery store than its restaurant, in violation of the Sheepshead Bay Special Waterfront District that permits only waterfront and recreational use. Then, some of their renovations were called into question, including pulling Lundy’s historic metal signs and ripping out the sidewalk insignia (the signs were later cleaned and replaced; the insignia is preserved in storage). And, most recently, the operators went before the Landmarks Preservation Committee to settle fines, and agreed to make minor changes, including a barrier around mechanical units that violated the LPC rules. And we noted then that the owners still need to approach the City Planning committee and fight for a change in zoning to legalize its usage as a supermarket.

A costly nuisance to the business owner? Definitely. A tough fight? Surely. A bloody 11-year “nation-building” battle with a death toll in the thousands? Well, according to Cherry Hill’s business owner, that hits the mark.

Cherry Hill’s owner David Isaev told the Wall Street Journal that he’s a victim of overbearing regulation, which has halted his efforts to clean up an important piece of waterfront property.

Mr. Isaev, who lived in Israel for 12 years before coming to the U.S. 22 years ago, said he views himself as a much-maligned savior of a garbage-strewn building that was going to ruin.

He said he was blindsided by attacks on his business and was unaware of all the complicated landmarking and zoning requirements when he signed a lease.

“My feeling was, this is not America,” he said. “I served in a war in Lebanon, and this is worse. It is Afghanistan.”

The Journal’s report yesterday described the fight as the centerpiece of division between “old-timers” and newer residents of Eastern European descent. The former respects the past, the article suggests, while the latter is on a slash-and-burn mission to remake the neighborhood however they like.

That argument is bolstered by quotes from Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo and Bay Improvement Group’s Steve Barrison, who both argue that Russians have no connection or interest in the neighborhood’s history. As a result, they run amok of city laws meant to preserve neighborhood character and history.

“The people who have settled here have no sense of history, they don’t know Lundy’s,” said Theresa Scavo, the chairwoman of the local community board grappling with the issue. “For them it is just a supermarket.”

… “I don’t care how much he invested or how long he has been there, that doesn’t excuse you from following the law,” said Mr. Barrison, whose family has lived in Sheepshead Bay for more than a century. “The Russian community has no roots or understanding of history here. So what does it matter to them what the law is?”

But that’s not the narrative we’re hearing on the ground. Sure, it’s only anecdotal, but our conversations with people across the neighborhood paint it more as a questioning of arguably anachronistic – though well-intentioned – regulations that are barring economic development and local commerce. And that’s an argument that crosses ethnic lines.

The Special Sheepshead Bay District was implemented in 1973 to “encourage development that will strengthen and protect the unique character of this waterfront community. In the area immediately north of the fishing fleet wharves, commercial uses are restricted to waterfront and tourist-related activities.”

But everyone agrees that a lot has changed in Sheepshead Bay since the 1970s, and the Lundy’s property in particular has spent the majority of the time since the district’s establishment as a dilapidated eyesore. Two attempts to run a traditional seafood restaurant have failed spectacularly. Elsewhere along Emmons, residential developments and retail establishments like Loehmann’s have set precedents that chewed up the special waterfront zoning. Meanwhile, bait and tackle shops and other waterfront-related businesses gave way to largely Eastern European and Turkish dining options that eschew nautical themes for more modern glitz. And the fishing fleet has thinned, while dinner cruise vessels have boomed.

Locals are not blind to these changes, and many who’ve lived in Sheepshead Bay for decades wonder if it’s time to move on from the perception of the neighborhood as a fishing village to one of a polyglot bastion of shopping and cuisine, bolstered, but not defined by, a beautiful marina.

And that’s what’s at the core of the Lundy’s debate: not a cultural narrative of “old-timers” who don’t want things to change versus Russians who don’t care for history; but that of those who wonder if a 40-year-old regulation should still hold sway over a community that’s changed so much, versus those who think no matter how much we change there are some things worth preserving.

Which camp do you fall into?

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  • Barkingspider7

    It doesn’t matter to me  that Russians were not part of Lundy’s and/or Sheepshead Bay’s history.  What matters is that David Isaev signed a lease to rent a space, then spent a fortune to renovate a wasted, vermin infested building (and the land around it) that doesn’t even belong to him.  Instead of thanking him, all these jackwagons are giving him a hard time.  I want to thank David for making that disaster of a building and the property around it into a clean, safe well used area.  When are these “commissions/associations/neighborhood groups going to leave him alone?  The place looks great, and the neighborhood loves it.  Stop harassing him already!

    • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

      I didnt even know this. he put all that money into it and he doesn’t even own the space. Unbelievable. Mr. BIG and the other Desperate Houswife Scavo are like little babies: you give them 3 toys, and they’re stomping angry that they didn’t get a fourth one. Un-freakin-believable. How’s that for gratitude to Cherry Hill.

        I don’t even agree with Lundy’s being a landmark. Come on. The Wonder Wheel is a landmark. The Statue of Liberty is a landmark. The Lundy’s building use to be a seafood restaurant. Come on.

  • VERA

    That argument is bolstered by quotes from Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo and Bay Improvement Group’s Steve Barrison, who both argue that Russians have no connection or interest in the neighborhood’s history. As a result, they run amok of city laws meant to preserve neighborhood character and history.
     
    WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? CHARACTER AND HISTORY? WHAT ABOUNT ALL OF THE BIG SHIPS PARKED ALONG EMMONS AVENUE? WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE DRINKING HARD LIQUIOR FROM THE TRUNKS OF THEIR CARS BEFORE BOARDING THOSE PARTY BOATS? WHAT ABOUT ALL trash LEFT BEHIND ON EMMONS AVENUE FROM THE PARTY BOATS?   WHERE IS Theresa Scavo AND  Steve Barrison WHEN OUR QUALITY OF LIFE IS crushed? 
     
    SO, rUSSIANS HAVE NO CONNECTION OR INTEREST IN THE NEGHBOURHOOD? OR COMMUNITY BOARD 15?

    • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

      I think Lynette and Tom Scavo make more sense than Theresa Scavo.

    • Barkingspider7

      totally agree!!!

    • Barkingspider7

      Teresa Scavo and Steve Barrison are only around when something captures THEIR interests. They don’t care about anything but preservation.  Hey guys, how about this, instead of preservation, support IMPROVEMENT (it is the Bay Improvement Group now, isn’t it???)  Well – do your job and improve.  Who the hell wants to preserve things that are not only old, but ugly and damaged beyond repair??   

  • levp

    OK, regulations are bad.  I agree!

    So can we have a compromise: BIG drops zoning/building challenges against Cherry Hill and Bay People drop their zoning/building challenges against Voorhies Avenue Islamic Center.

    That should make everybody happy, right?

    • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

      I like this idea! I vote yes. Now I’m going to increase my visits to my shrink, because it’s the first time I ever agreed with Levp!

  • Anonymous

    ““The Russian community has no roots or understanding of history here. So what does it matter to them what the law is?””

    Whaaaaaaat?  So I guess Brighton Beach is not nick named Little Odessa.  And I guess Sheepshead Bay has not been settled by Russian Jews for at least the past hundred years.  What I find even more discouraging than Theresa’s redneck minded views is that there is no real leaders in the Russian community who will stand up to her stupidity.  For all the bullshit in the black community, if anyone ever said anything like this about them their leaders would be on the steps of city hall screaming for heads to roll.  Same is true for the Orthodox Jews I suppose.  But us Russians will once again just sit on our leather couches in our “European style” furnished apartments and do and say nothing.  Perhaps one of our self appointed community leaders will have the guts to tell Theresa that she isn’t exactly Native American either.  

    As far as Cherry Hill, the best run business on Sheepshead Bay is concerned, it needs to be closed immediately and turned into a Man’s shoe store.

    • Resident of Southern Brooklyn

      Well, we have our Assemblyman, Alec Brook-Krasny, who will once again prefer to spend time in Albany rather than to take on this redneck Teresa Scavo.

      • Anonymous

        that’s because there is no profit in it for him… fucking Alec Krasniy. another fucker with the big mouth

  • Anonymous

    There is just so much wrong with both arguments it’s not even funny. My head is spinning and I dont know where to start. 1- He is an Israeli……… NOT RUSSIAN. why the fuck they talk about Russians? I dont get that.

    2- Building used to be a total shitholle before he came in and cleaned it out.

    3- It’s still messy on the back with stinking garbage all around the parking lot.

    4- Fishing Village? Is that what locals think of sheepshead? Good for them.

    5- Eating on the water front is great! As to all the fishing going on… I’m against it.

    6- Cherry Hill’s quality went down substantially, but their prices did not. :( I found glass in mushroom salad I got from them. :(

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gene-Berardelli/1173482469 Gene Berardelli

      Against fishing in Sheepshead Bay? That’s wrong on so many levels.  But a discussion for another day!  :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gene-Berardelli/1173482469 Gene Berardelli

    “The Russian community has no roots or understanding of history here. So what does it matter to them what the law is?” 

    Wow.  That’s pretty damn inflammatory.  And ignorant.  And smacks of prejudice. Divisive language like this is counter-productive.  This scapegoating of a new community that is investing in where we live must end. 

    That said, let’s talk a little history.  Lundy’s Restaurant was – from what I hear – an amazing place.  Wish I could have experienced it.  But, it was also Irving Lundy’s tax shelter.  He was able to run the business at a signifcant loss for many years for that reason.  And as the newer incarnation of the restaurant proved, a restaurant-only plan is unsustainable for those who actually need it to earn money.  So for everyone dreaming of a return to “Millionaire’s Row”, it ain’t happening. 

    Now let’s talk regulation:  The area of the SSBD where Lundy’s is located is limited in what uses are permitted.  Among those permissible uses are “retail or service establishments”.  Isn’t Cherry Hill a retail establishment?  I’ve shopped there, the price sure ain’t wholesale!  :-) 

    The regulation is vague if you ask me. One could argue that no zoning change is needed.  But be that as it may, Cherry Hill is working on that, so let’s see what the City says.  But it should be noted that the work and use actually passed DOB initially!  DOB had actually signed off on Cherry Hill’s plans before opening, but then revoked when a DEPUTY COMMISSIONER showed up out of the blue to inspect (when’s the last time THAT happened in the history of bureaucracy!) at the behest of Sen. Carl Kruger, all in the name of “preservation”. 

    This is the same Sen. Kruger who took hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from developers and contractor who over-developed the rest of Emmons Ave.  He didn’t utter a peep about “preservation” then. 

    Sen. Kruger was so proud of himself, he had a press release out before the DOB even had the violation posted!  I remember clearly him and Terry Scavo posing for publicity shots next to the shuttered doors while St. Mark’s Good Friday procession was passing behind them – I was appalled. 

    Finally, let’s talk reality:  Cherry Hill has become the anchor of the Sheepshead Bay waterfront.  There’s vibrance and vitality to our landmark again.  Look at the Cherry Hill side of Lundy’s, then look at the other sides:  how about getting on every other business / the landlord to maintain the property as it should be maintained?   

    Nope.  Instead, psuedo-politicos continue to go after someone who’s betting on Sheepshead Bay’s growth, creating jobs and heavily investing in our area.  For the sake of what – the hope that a nautically themed community will spring up out of nowhere?  If it didn’t happen for 20 years after the SSBD was created, it wasn’t happening.  Which is unfortunate. 

    But those who fail to adapt to their situation don’t last long. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gene-Berardelli/1173482469 Gene Berardelli

    “The Russian community has no roots or understanding of history here. So what does it matter to them what the law is?” 

    Wow.  That’s pretty damn inflammatory.  And ignorant.  And smacks of prejudice. Divisive language like this is counter-productive.  This scapegoating of a new community that is investing in where we live must end. 

    That said, let’s talk a little history.  Lundy’s Restaurant was – from what I hear – an amazing place.  Wish I could have experienced it.  But, it was also Irving Lundy’s tax shelter.  He was able to run the business at a signifcant loss for many years for that reason.  And as the newer incarnation of the restaurant proved, a restaurant-only plan is unsustainable for those who actually need it to earn money.  So for everyone dreaming of a return to “Millionaire’s Row”, it ain’t happening. 

    Now let’s talk regulation:  The area of the SSBD where Lundy’s is located is limited in what uses are permitted.  Among those permissible uses are “retail or service establishments”.  Isn’t Cherry Hill a retail establishment?  I’ve shopped there, the price sure ain’t wholesale!  :-) 

    The regulation is vague if you ask me. One could argue that no zoning change is needed.  But be that as it may, Cherry Hill is working on that, so let’s see what the City says.  But it should be noted that the work and use actually passed DOB initially!  DOB had actually signed off on Cherry Hill’s plans before opening, but then revoked when a DEPUTY COMMISSIONER showed up out of the blue to inspect (when’s the last time THAT happened in the history of bureaucracy!) at the behest of Sen. Carl Kruger, all in the name of “preservation”. 

    This is the same Sen. Kruger who took hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from developers and contractor who over-developed the rest of Emmons Ave.  He didn’t utter a peep about “preservation” then. 

    Sen. Kruger was so proud of himself, he had a press release out before the DOB even had the violation posted!  I remember clearly him and Terry Scavo posing for publicity shots next to the shuttered doors while St. Mark’s Good Friday procession was passing behind them – I was appalled. 

    Finally, let’s talk reality:  Cherry Hill has become the anchor of the Sheepshead Bay waterfront.  There’s vibrance and vitality to our landmark again.  Look at the Cherry Hill side of Lundy’s, then look at the other sides:  how about getting on every other business / the landlord to maintain the property as it should be maintained?   

    Nope.  Instead, psuedo-politicos continue to go after someone who’s betting on Sheepshead Bay’s growth, creating jobs and heavily investing in our area.  For the sake of what – the hope that a nautically themed community will spring up out of nowhere?  If it didn’t happen for 20 years after the SSBD was created, it wasn’t happening.  Which is unfortunate. 

    But those who fail to adapt to their situation don’t last long. 

    • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

      You have to understand. The Russians haven’t achieved that “victim” special status, so they are fair game for prejudice, slander, etc.  Imagine making such a statement about a Jew, Afro-American, woman, gay. He would have been drummed out of his imaginary office. But the Russians? Nah, they haven’t achieved that hypocritial politically correct status. Maybe you guys have to start talking about Stalin, WWII, the gulags, Communism, etc.

        Promote yourselves as victims, not doers. That’s the game these days and the liberal government will bestow the honored “i’m a victim, i’m untouchable”  status on your people.

      • MyBrooklyn

        YOu damn right…he is not russian. I beleive
        originally he is from Baku….he is juhuro jew (gorskie) pride. For most part
        people from former Soviet Union all can speak russian….in no way it makes
        them Russian…Russian Speaking YES. The guy speaks hebrew, russian, english,
        our own dialogue of farsi and azeri languages. Those savages that trying to suck his blood out, need to go to hell.

        • nolastname

          Who gives a shit what he speaks. Not one person wants to suck his blood.
          The owners can “go to hell” for the destruction of a landmark.
          He is a greedy, selfish bastard who knew what he was doing when he did it. No mercy. If he cared for the community as a whole his actions would have been different.
          He went against orders and variances but got away with murder. All along knowing he was destroying history. All for money in his greedy pocket.  He could have kept everyone happy but does not care about long time local opinions. Again, NO MERCY.
          In time they will find out whose pocket was lined.

          • MyBrooklyn

            Its all good, you guys just jealous….you are all born
            here and could not do better. Thats why you envy him….damn right greedy, he
            is running a business and not charity. I am greedy so what…..look around you.

          • nolastname

            Jealousy has nothing to do with it. If I wanted to manipulate the system I would be a pro at it, just not my cup of tea.
            He is greedy, you are greedy and yes I do look around. You prove a point…there are hard working God fearing people and then there is your kind. Live fast and please, die off soon.

          • Stan D

            The guy invests into the community, creates jobs, and provides services to his customers. That makes him greedy? And what exactly does a generous person like you provide for the community?

          • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

            you have to understand, these people regard any government operation, however racked with corruption, as noble. Any businessman who makes a dime of profit is evil, and god forbid it’s a corporation, it’s the devil incarnate. That’s the mindset I hear too often in NY

          • nolastname

            One of the volunteer efforts I do provide is to help B.I.G. clean the highway across from The cherry and cherry can’t even keep their corner clean. It is littered and stinks.
            The jobs you speak of would still be there if he complied with preserving instead of a swollen head. And any business that occupies the space would be doing the same, providing jobs. Services as in delivery of goods he profits from? That’s a give to stay above water. 
            So what else can you tell me? My argument is he should have never destroyed….he should take REAL pride in the community and preserve.
            Is there a part of that you do not understand or do you still want to throw more gibberish my way?

          • nolastname

            Jealousy has nothing to do with it. If I wanted to manipulate the system I would be a pro at it, just not my cup of tea.
            He is greedy, you are greedy and yes I do look around. You prove a point…there are hard working God fearing people and then there is your kind. Live fast and please, die off soon.

        • nolastname

          Who gives a shit what he speaks. Not one person wants to suck his blood.
          The owners can “go to hell” for the destruction of a landmark.
          He is a greedy, selfish bastard who knew what he was doing when he did it. No mercy. If he cared for the community as a whole his actions would have been different.
          He went against orders and variances but got away with murder. All along knowing he was destroying history. All for money in his greedy pocket.  He could have kept everyone happy but does not care about long time local opinions. Again, NO MERCY.
          In time they will find out whose pocket was lined.

        • nolastname

          Who gives a shit what he speaks. Not one person wants to suck his blood.
          The owners can “go to hell” for the destruction of a landmark.
          He is a greedy, selfish bastard who knew what he was doing when he did it. No mercy. If he cared for the community as a whole his actions would have been different.
          He went against orders and variances but got away with murder. All along knowing he was destroying history. All for money in his greedy pocket.  He could have kept everyone happy but does not care about long time local opinions. Again, NO MERCY.
          In time they will find out whose pocket was lined.

  • Local Broker

    These people are just dieing for some attention. Hey Steve and Theresa why dont you go complain about all the garbage and traffic we have in the area instead of bashing a business that is providing a service most of the community wants as well as bringing in money and jobs. You should be ashamed of yourself for making a statement like that about a whole community that i am almost positive has done more for this area in a short time than you have done in a lifetime. If Weiner resigned because of a picture of his dick you should resign for making a racist statement.

    • geneee

      they should resign for being dicks.

  • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

    Hmmm, Cherry Hill gets a hard time. Development under the Q train (across from the station)  is rejected by that Cymbo-witz-less guy. This neighborhood is really doing its best to hinder development. Regulations, regulations. Then again they’re copying their president: impose stifling regulations on businesses, and then cry that the businesses don’t want to do business (and create jobs)! Sheepshead Bay is a microcosm of the country as a whole.

       I hope Cherry Hill moves out and gives the righteous politicians and their followers what they deserve: filthy rat-infested empty property. I remember the Emmons Avenue of the 80′s. Not a pretty site.  And Mr. Barrison fought his darnest to keep it that way. He’s at it again. Wake up Mr. BIG. You’re NOT getting a fishing village. You’re getting mice, garbage and rats.

       Sorry to beat around the bush.

      

  • Anonymous

    All I know is I loved Lundy’s as a kid, great memories back in the 60s, half a century ago! Get over it, people. This neighborhood was seriously deteriorating, many families moved away, and when I came back decades later I was aghast that my beloved PS 286 had been turned into a warehouse for special needs kids but happy when someone, anyone! had the guts to take on the old vacant desert of Lundy’s. Better this market than the fake Lundy’s that failed to take root I don’t remember when.

  • Anonymous

    Oh yeah, BTW, I am a Russian Polish Jew, grew up here beginning 1960.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    What Cherry Hill did was to violate law. It doesn’t matter whether Cherry Hill “improved” the property, they did so in violation of the specifics of the landmark designation. As a legal precedent it sets a bad example, it will lead to a spate of similar out of character alterations to landmarks which will make the landmarks law lose its meaning; anything short of destruction eventually will be allowed.

    I do agree that the Landmarks law, in its pure form, is often repressive, it makes it difficult to maintain properties which are in need of repair. Rules about period methods and materials do more harm than good. However, in this instance things were done not out of necessity, but out of a desire to redefine the space. A simple example was the removal of sidewalk tiles with the name of the restaurant. That certainly served no functional purpose. But it was part of the protected space. I sensed a certain arrogance in its replacement.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001/2574687700/

    It is, in its occurrence a small matter. But it leads us down a slippery slope where the entire building can be stripped o its former identity.

    • BrooklynBus

      This is what I would like to know. BIG and others made a big deal about Cherry Hill not being a waterfront use and violating the Special District. They also made a big deal about Loehmanns. Please tell me where is this special district anyway. I thought it was the entire length of Emmons Avenue. (If it wasn’t it seems to me like it should have been.) If so, how come Allstate was allowed to build a big office building On Emmons. How come they were allowed to replace Palm Shores Beach club with an ugly looking condominium? And what about all the other condominiums that have popped up along Emmons in the past 38 years. Weren’t they all in violation of the special District also? Who was speaking out against them and why were they allowed? Did they all receive variances because they paid off some politician and Cherry Hill is given a hard time because they refused to play ball?

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

        The Special District was an unrealistic ideal to maintain. That Barrison keeps talking about the Special District shows that he does not accept that the area has changed because there wasn’t a large enough maritime presence to keep it viable.

        I don’t believe that the Special District went past Nostrand Avenue. Loehman’s got a variance which Barrison fought. Badly. This led to an erosion of the enforcement of the district. Additionally, there was vacant land along Emmons Avenue which wasn’t being put to any practical use.

        The issue of Cherry Hill should not be about the Special District. It should be a fair evaluation of the landmarking laws. There were violations which were made out of a sense of practical purpose. They did not affect the historical affect of th building in a significant way. Other changes did. The Commission should have been more through in examining the specifics, instead they issued a pretty much broad based decision.

        It is time that we make hanges in the Landmarking law that will encourage owners to persue landmarking while maintaining its basic purpose. Save what defines the building. Allow changes where they do not affect the integrity in a significant or meaningful way.

        Removin the sidewalk plaques was petty. There was no justification for that. And it was part of the defining characteristics of the exterior.

        • BrooklynBus

          Isn’t the vacant land where the flea market was where they built Sunrise Assisted Living? So why did the Special District allow that and I don’t remember hearing anyone oppose it?

          Incidentally, it sounds to me that you would make a great Director of the Landmarks Commission.

          • Local Broker

            The problem with the landmarks commission is they are a bunch of artists with no clue about business and real estate but have power to tell people what they can and cant do with property they own. Its just more political BS. More payoffs, fees, paperwork, attorneys, time and anything else you can think of. I dealt with them on a building that i sold on Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights  and they put a lean on the property because of a window that didnt have the correct molding on the facade that has not been there in 50 years. After an additional 2-3 months of everything i mentioned above we finally closed without having to change it. What was really interesting about the whole thing was almost every building on the block changed their windows 50 years earlier to match each other and no one complained about it back then. Its crazy that these so called community leaders can figure out the garbage problem but have all the time in the world to bust this one business owners balls.     

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gene-Berardelli/1173482469 Gene Berardelli

        http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/zone/art09c04.pdf

        It’s quite technical.  Give it a once over and I’d be glad to explain points if needed. 

    • Local Broker

      There are a couple different problems here. There is nothing significant about the building itself it was the business that people want to keep in memory and wasted time getting it land marked for all the wrong reasons. Also there were no issues renovating this property until Kruger didnt get the payoff that he wanted from the owners and thats when all the problems started.  

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

        Actually there were significant elements in the building. The initial drive to preserve the building was not made by local residents or even members of the preservationist community, it was architectural historians who believed it had value. It’s considered to be one of the best 20th century examples of Spanish Mission styled architecture. The historians joined in only when the process began to gain momentum.

        The LPC report has not been yet made available oniline through LPC or other landmark related sites. But it is quite through in its discussion as to why this building was worthy of landmarking. Very few buildings in southern Brooklyn have been landmarked, thusly the act was significant.

      • nolastname

        I have significant memories of the establishment and the structure of the building.  The whole atmosphere of Sheepshead Bay was vibrant, something that could be rejuvenated.
        Kruger might have not got what he wanted but someone surely did.

    • Barkingspider7

      Oh Lisanne – please!  Would you rather see it back the way it was?  A piece of flooring, mosaic tile with the logo of the restaurant is no loss.  Look at it overall.  Look at the classiness now.  Look at the gorgeous plaster work inside.  Nevermind “preservation”.  Look at the jewel that stands there now compared to what used to be a dank, dark, depressing restaurant.  Why should they have landmark status anyway?  The building was always a dump before Cherry Hill took it over.

      • nolastname

        I have to agree with Lisanne. I would like to see a restoration to bring out the beauty of the times. What the awning looks like is something every salad bar in Manhattan has. Nothing classy about it. 
        Yes, they get good business (mostly local Russian) but it is not an attraction that brings people to Sheepshead Bay. It can be both the landmark it is and a grocery store. Cherry Hill is a fancy grocery store that caters to a certain cliental. It serves it’s purpose to the demand of the area while squashing another aspect of the bays heritage. 
        There is room for preservation and profit if they were not so damn selfish.

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

        First, the building was in a decayed state when it was unoccupied for a number of years after the restaurant closed. It was fixed up to a tolerable state when it was reopened with a revived restaurant and stores on the upper floor.

        Second, landmarking laws on under fire right now. A number of historically significant buildings have been demolished without action by the LPC because the mayor and other powers within the government wish to redefine New York City. Why? Quite simply because there is much money to be made in a active real estate market. Many potential landmark sites are in prime development areas or they constitute a larger lot size than the norm.

        Perhaps the commission can remove the landmark designation from Lundy’s altogether, allowing either extreme modification or even demolition of the structure, whose value seems to be lost on the number of people here. But that would be a terrible development. Unfortunately, not an impossible one as the commission is considering the removal of landmark status of one building. (I’d have to look further for details)

        More to the point: As Lundy’s is currently landmarked, and the landmarking designation is specific in its protection the lessees of the property were bound by its limitations in making modifications to the building. Regardless of their seeming benevolence in “reviving” that space. Their so-called ignorance of the particulars is not believable or excusable. The hearing has turned the LPC into a joke, they have shown an inability and/or lack of desire to properly enforce a law they have been entrusted with administrating.  Their actions have sent a message to the owners of landmarked properties–do what you will, and when you are caught all will be forgiven.

    • CJ

      Stupid regulations need to be broken just like stupid and otherwise useless laws need to be broken to sometimes be challenged and overturned in court. 

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

        There are certainly bad laws, but laws that protect history do not fall under that category.

        No court would overturn this law. There are no constitutional grounds for doing so. The state does have to right to protect places that are historically or culturally significant.

        • Local Broker

          But that building is not significant it was the business that was there 50 years ago that was and only to people old enough to remember it. It would be different if that business was still open and new owners wanted to change it. Thats not the case and place has been closed for half a century.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            It must because it was landmarked at a time when the LPC was going through a somewhat senescent phase. Added to “architectural” and historical reasons, Lundy’s had the distinction of being of having been the largest restaurant in New York City and possibly was the largest in the United States.

            Lundy’s closed in 1979, 32 years ago. At the time of its landmarking the structure was a mere 55 years old. A building constructed that recently would have to be quite significant to merit landmarking. There are very few landmarked places in southern Brooklyn.

          • Local Broker

            My bad 32 years ago. You know why there are so few places in South Brooklyn that are landmarked? its because no one gives a shit. The only time it comes up if someone pays for it along with BS politics. 

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            The real reason is that only certain neighborhoods mattered to LPC. The parameters have changed over the years, as they had landmarked practically every brownstone in Park Slope, Downtown Brooklyn and much of Manhattan. In recent years they have discovered such exotic places as “Victorian Flatbush”, where the owners are more often than not quite happy to have their homes become part of a landmark district. In part it is because scarcity creates value. We “protect” that which we perceive as rare. So the values of these homes go up.

            There has been little interest in the part of Brooklyn south of the old Bay Ridge line of the LIRR. We are, to use the historical vernacular, living on the wrong side of the tracks. Our history is of little interest to the Manhattanites that sit on the LPC board. The few designations that have been given in this neighborhood were so obvious in their significance that they got passed bored board members,

          • Local Broker

            Thanks for the real estate valuation lesson. 

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            30 years ago the people who first started buying up houses in Ditmas Park and its neighboring areas saw the potential for cheap buys and a high return later if they wanted to sell. Friends of mine bought houses there partially with an eye to long term increased value. Within less than ten years the value of their property increased greatly, by the late 80s a lot of people who suddenly decided to have families wanted out of Park Slope and developed cravings for houses of character.

            I understand people are homesteading out in East New York. I’m not sure how long it will take for that neighborhood to take off but the potential is there.

          • Local Broker

            I dont get what this has to do with anything.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            Preservation can economically revive depressed neighborhoods.

          • nolastname

            ;-)

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            It must because it was landmarked at a time when the LPC was going through a somewhat senescent phase. Added to “architectural” and historical reasons, Lundy’s had the distinction of being of having been the largest restaurant in New York City and possibly was the largest in the United States.

            Lundy’s closed in 1979, 32 years ago. At the time of its landmarking the structure was a mere 55 years old. A building constructed that recently would have to be quite significant to merit landmarking. There are very few landmarked places in southern Brooklyn.

  • http://www.njluxurymotors.com Arthur Borko

    You know what makes me sad? The fact that reasonable adults can’t just get together and come to some sort of compromise. So much corruption is behind the situation here so why can’t everyone sit down together, acknowledge the issues on the table and come to some sort of accord/compromise that can be used as a blueprint for Emmons Ave for the next 20 years!

    Cherry Hill is a success, lets stop trying to grind that to a halt and instead find a new more modern direction for Sheepshead Bay that honors the past and looks towards the future.

    • http://blog.arikatt.com Ariela B.

      The fact that reasonable adults can’t just get together and come to some sort of compromise.

      That’s assuming the adults in the situation are reasonable in the first place.

      • Allan Rosen

        Just another situation where my most recent article applies. People need to look at the big picture and work cooperatively toward that goal with less bickering and arguing.

  • Aaabelik

    Both parties r at fault. Isaev didnt wanna pay the price to keep the politicians mouth shut… now their down his throat. Scavo & Barrison r bastards & need to go away

  • guywhocare

    How can Scavo hold the position she does in our community when she is so biased and discriminatory to those living here that go against anything she wants? I find it unfair and rude that she can call the Sheepshead Bay residents names without personally knowing us, or even looking to talk to us? Someone with her mentality can not fairly and equally run this community, maybe she should be the next to resign for her “racist” thinking?

  • Brshe45

    The people who have settled here have no sense of history, they don’t know Lundy’s,” said Theresa Scavo, the chairwoman of the local community board grappling with the issue. “For them it is just a supermarket.
     
    sure for her its memories of her little smoke filled junk store she owned there till landlord told her to get out. 

  • Cybdiver

    Is Sheepshead Bay still a tourist attraction?  Most of the folks that knew Lundy’s are living in Boca at Century Village.  Okay the Law says it’s a Landmark, so just follow the law.  It’s really not that hard.  Where is the Cherry Hill store? in the old Lundy’s building.  Maybe changing the name of the store to the Lundy’s Resturaunt and Diner would be easier?  I never knew until this story it was the “Cherry Hill” store?  Isnt Cherry Hill in New Jersey?

  • EndofDaze

    Some thoughtful comments here. And here’s my two cents. I can’t believe Cherry Hill in Sheepshead Bay is making money! Irregardless of these other important issues, Net Cost, off historic and increasingly tony, Neck Road, and Super Stop and Shop, when they run sales, vastly undercut the prices I see at CH for the same quality! Same goes for that Sheeepshead Bay Fruits and Vegetables on the corner of Z and E17, which I can’t believe has survived, next to SS&S! Unless some folks like to pay more, for the same stuff?! I just don’t get it! 

    • BrooklynBus

      I go there for rolls. They charge much less than S&S. Did get a rotten peach there though. Thought it would have to be good for the money I spent. Wrong.

    • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

      Yeah, I wouldn’t shop there either. There’s a revamped fruit/deli up Sheepshead Bay Road before the curve (across from the dry cleaner).  It was a dump for awhile, some new guy took it over, it’s pretty good.

  • guest

    Reasonable people agree or disagree on CH. What we all can agree on barrison and scavo can’t and shouldn’t be leaders of anything much less community

  • Craigielea130

    Has anyone written a history of Lundy’s?  Anecdotal personal accounts are fine, and I could add a few describing what it was like in the Thirties and Forties.  However, I’d like to see something about the founders, the early days, its decline and how/why/when it was closed.

    If such a book exists, let me know where I can acquire it; if not, this is a good project for an aspiriong writer with Sheepshead Bay roots.

    l

    • BrooklynBus

      It certainly would be an interesting subject. I was at a tour almost ten years ago at Evergreen Cemetery where Lundy is buried. I learned that because of his political connections, the City paid the entire cost to construct the building as part of an agreement whereby he agreed to vacate the shack he had on the south side of Emmons Avenue when the street was being renewed I think in the 30s and the City would replace the building on the north side. Instead of building him another shack he was able to finagle the current building which is I don’t know how many times larger than than the building it replaced. So the building was actually paid or by taxpayers.

    • Emmons Owl
  • Tinafg

    I don’t care if it was Russians or Americans who opened the damned store! A lying piece of garbage who pays off people to get what they want can be anyone from anywhere.  Cherry Hill Market never should have opened in the first place.  It was supposed to be a restaurant.  It should have been a restaurant.  And shame on all of you who should have made it happen for not making it happen!

    • BIG Steve

      Thanks Tina. It’s amazing the words I used, taken out of context and to see all the nasty, wrong headed, factually and legally wrong, libelous comments in this comment section about me & BIG. You are right, period.
       The other developments after the illegal Lohmanns, for the most part follow the loop holes in the Special District put in by local leaders long before me, allowing “housing.” The empty Emmons property some cried about was due to the slow selling off of the Lundy Estate which owned everything from El Greco all the way to the Sheepshead Bay Diner! That is why, not us or the zoning battles, it is just not true. Anyway, everything we said about Lohmanns has come true! It is mostly eateries and cafes and entertainment, not large retail which can be anywhere. We welcome all small businesses and food establishments to the Bay. We hope to see you all at the Taste of the Bay too!
       Thus, was our fight to bring in an entire waterfront comprehensive development which we proposed, to Sheepshead Bay instead of the piece meal, selfish greedy hodge podge checkerboard uncoordinated mess, is what the unnamed “Local Broker”, the BrooklynBus person and the rest of the uninformed about what really happened is quite sad and frankly shameful. We had a developer ready to go with a few hundred small scale shops, eateries, cafes, boutiques and yes over 5,000 parking spaces! That is not anti-development or living in the past, that is future, thousands of jobs, and almost 1 billion a year in revenue! This would have attracted many businesses and tourists and put the Bay on the map as a major destination from the tri-state area and more. Is Cherry hill that kind of draw or anchor? Really? Make me laugh. it is a “gourmet” deli, takeout, whatever you want to describe it as like hundreds across the city, but not a destination. The other vulgarity and ignorance about us, me and BIG who is out there 100% volunteering for this community, including clean ups, gardens, subway station improvements and restoration, waterfront enhancements, the annual party for Sheepshead Bay, BayFest, and more, all free, all donated for the community. I see very little of the local newer people in the last 10- 15 years getting involved to help clean up whatever you all are complaining about who are so quick to denograte and smear people here without all the facts. Get up from the computer and give back. If not, you really have no reason to weigh in. All the great volunteers try their best. Either the law applies to all of us equally or should it apply only to those without deep pockets? How many of the employees are full time on the tax rolls one mentioned and not off the books? Just wondering.
      Finally, using the logic of the broker, implies that over 95% of the city landmarks should be torn down and not preserved. Landmarks and Special Districts are designed for the long term of 100-200 years, not a cyle in the last generation or ethnic winds of change; much like the special areas world over. Some other comments about “nautical communituy” demonstrate again ignorance of the Special District law and take words out of context of the INTENT and MEANING of these statutes. That same person complained about “overdevelopment” with the same arguements on the other side of his mounth. It is about balance and this is the only landmark in all of the Sheepshead Bay waterfront history. It is the only building of it’s type in the world! We learned that in 6 years of hearings!
      Lastly, as a Russian decendant, I never said anything derrogatory unless the article in the WSJ misquoted me, as I frahnkly did not even see it. For the last 28 plus years, I have worked for small business rights, main streets, mom & pop shops, fairness and that the laws must be applied equally to all. I am pro development, real estate and future. But those who ignore the past are doomed to repeat its mistakes; we must learn from it to move forward.

    • JohnMcGraw

      Tina is right. It is not about Steve Barrison or BIG who both have done more the last few decades than anyone in Sheepshead Bay to make it better, improve quaility of life and make Sheepshead Bay the hot place to live, visit and enjoy. It is about the laws that we all should follow and be applied equally. How can anoyone not see that? The rest of the comments are disgusting and ignore the main point of understanding we are a country of of laws based upon reasonableness, order and balance to be applied fairly to all. Thank you Tina and Bay Improvement Group for it’s great work all these years! Keep it up!

  • AlexKorbov

    Steve Barrison is right and doesn’t deserve the uninformed misguided clearly ignorant statements regarding the law, local history and Sheepshead Bay and the terrific work of the Bay Improvement Group! Most of the statements made here are incorrect or outright untrue. There is too much to respond to them all but no one did more to encourage growth, progress, and the future for the area than Steve & BIG.
     It was politics that stood in the way of the comprehensive master plan that was worked on by many. From local elected, to residents, business owners, the boat owners, community organizations and others worked 5-6 nights a week to put a plan with lots of parking and many, many small independent businesses along the main waterfront strip from Sheepshead Bay Road to Bedford Av, but politics and individual greed blocked this true community wide diverse grass roots group of local caring people from accomplishing what would have been a world class waterfront. It didn’t happen, but Steve and BIG tried their best and continue to fight for community pride and giving back. Never have they been against progress or accepting the future; only that things should be done legally and follow the law. That is for everyone! How can anyone be angry or negative about that?
    Lundy’s no matter what you opinion was landmarked because of its true uniqueness combining Spanish Mission style with what was called “Lundy style” all it’s own. It was the largest free standing building for a restaurant in the world! It is the only Landmark left in the community, designated because of its cultural, social, historical and architectural characteristics making it an important marker for generations to come, just as other significant landmark buildings around the world. Both the Boro historian and Steve disagree on the use here, but both fought side by side for many years to landmark this NYC treasure. Any experienced real estate broker knows that while a hassle for repairs landmarks stabilize and increase an areas attraction and sense of place. Otherwise we wouldn’t have so many “landmarked’ buildings here in NYC and around the world.
     I would like to say that you can disagree on view point but the personal attacks on the Bay Improvement Group and Steve Barrison are wrongheaded and divisive and do nothing but harm good hard working well intended people volunteering their time for this area and the city. I am Russian, know BIG and Steve and frankly, they are RIGHT! In fact most Russians in the area that stay to themselves know this too. He is a great guy if you ever met him you would agree with me. he has helped many local prominent Russian, Turkish, Korean, Chinese, Latin  and other immigrant business owners to cut through the regulatory red tape open businesses here. If you really knew what Mr Barrison did you would be congratulating him and thanking him.