Demolitions permits have been issued to the developers of the planned 30-story Voorhies Avenue tower for the connected property, 1524 Sheepshead Bay Road, which will be torn down to create a gated walkway for prospective residents.
The application for demolition was approved in mid-August, shortly after Muss Development and AvalonBay purchased the property and more than a month before plans were filed for the tower.
The storefront is actually part of a larger building, all owned by Muss, that spans four storefronts, including the Citibank.
That building, once known as the Soeller Building, is approximately a century old. While city records indicate it was built in 1927, old certificates of occupancy suggest it dates back to at least the 1910s.
Over the years it’s become a patchwork of materials and colors as it has been used, reused, subdivided, and used again. That made it a charming subject for the very excellent blogger at Lost New York City, who wrote about it and its eponymous owner back in 2011:
The Soeller Building was owned by Mary Soeller, who ran a hotel back in the late 1800s. It was thusly described in a legal document at the time (Mary was being sued): “a double house with a veranda in front, and the veranda roof is extended at the sides so as to cover a room, which is the barber’s shop, at one end of the house, and at the other end to cover a room used as a billiard room.” It was called the Island View Hotel, and probably catered to the beach and racetrack crowd that flocked to Sheepshead Bay during the summers.
Admittedly, the building is hardly an architectural gem awaiting landmark status. But, for what it’s worth, Soeller was interesting cat who helped Sheepshead Bay become what it is today when she went and bought “swampland” by the Sheepshead Bay B.M.T. station to develop. Here’s some reminiscing the pioneer did on her 100th birthday in 1950, courtesy of the Brooklyn Eagle:
Sources tell Sheepshead Bites that the sidewalk fencing will go up any day now and demolition right after that.
As we reported yesterday, draft plans for the 1501 Voorhies Avenue tower reveal a gated walkway from the commercial corridor into the luxury development’s grounds. But with no approved plans to build yet, is demolishing a 100-year-old storefront perhaps premature?