Home New York City Transit Markowitz ponders the future at 370 Jay St.

Markowitz ponders the future at 370 Jay St.

by Benjamin Kabak

When word got out that the MTA is planning on selling its headquarters in Manhattan to better utilize its existing real estate holdings, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz raised an eyebrow. He again reiterated his desire to see something — anything — happen at 370 Jay St.

He said:

“Since 2008, I, along with other elected officials and the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, have called on the MTA to dispose of this property, which has remained nearly vacant and poorly maintained for more than a decade. The MTA’s response has been to reassert its desire to hold on to the property and to insist that the building is necessary for locating future back offices.

“Yet, while the rest of the surrounding business district has undergone tremendous and transformative growth, 370 Jay St. has languished in sidewalk scaffolding and a black scrim reaching to its highest floors to protect passersby from the structure’s crumbling facade.

The impact of this building’s neglect cannot be understated.”

The MTA’s internal report — entitled “MTA Office Space Portfolio Right-Sizing Business Plan” — features no mention of Transit’s Jay St. space, and the authority has long searched for the right funds to fix up the building. For now, it will continue to sit above a newly-renovated subway station but shrouded in scaffolding. One day, something might happen there, but it seems as though today is not that day.

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Cap'n Transit April 26, 2011 - 8:04 pm

So do they own it, or does the city own it?

BrooklynBus April 27, 2011 - 9:37 am

I believe the City owns it and it is being leased to the MTA, but I am not sure.

bob April 28, 2011 - 1:47 am

All TA property is either owned by the city or the state, since it is a creation of those entities. It also keeps all TA purchases tax exempt. That’s right – TA never pays sales tax.

Anon April 26, 2011 - 9:50 pm

John Paul N. April 27, 2011 - 4:00 am

There is a nice war memorial (I believe WWII but it may have been the Korean War) on the north side of the building at the subway entrance and where the customer information center used to be. Whatever happens, I hope that is saved in some manner.

Pete April 27, 2011 - 8:34 am

That WWII memorial shows TA employees killed in WWII and where they died including some in training accidents in the US during the war. That should be preserved no matter what.

BrooklynBus April 27, 2011 - 9:37 am

I know there was talk of moving it. I thought it had been moved to 2 Broadway. Is it still there?

John Paul N. April 27, 2011 - 5:02 pm

Broadway is where it’s at now. I thought you knew that. 😉 But the remnants of the old center remain at Jay, like the storefront of an abandoned business.

AlexB April 27, 2011 - 12:46 pm

That building is disgusting and the exterior should be fixed up even if no one is going to use it any time soon. The scaffolding on Jay St is an eyesore that a lot of people taking the train or bus or who work or live in the area have to put up with.

bob April 28, 2011 - 1:53 am

What’s interesting is that the agency refuses to explain the situation, when they are doing something sensible.

Jay St. may be empty of people, but since it was the HQ and location of the old Command Center, it was, and still is, a major node in the communications network. Lots of equipment in the basement is still in use. So they are understandably loathe to let anyone get near the site until that stuff is moved or replaced. And doing that, while things are still active, without screwing anything up, is quite tricky.


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