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Development Drama Continues At Bed-Stuy's Slave Theater

It's been nearly a year since there's been any chatter about what's next for Bed-Stuy's historic Slave Theater, but the Brooklyn Eagle has two stories about the site, making it clear that the drama has not died down. The site sold last August to a developer, the Fulton Halsey Development Group LLC, for $2.1 million, and the Brooklyn Eagle reports that the same group also bought a vacant lot at 10 Halsey Street, which sits behind the theater, for $100,000 and an adjacent site at 16-18 Halsey Street for $2.95 million. None of the sites are zoned for residential, but that's never stopped a developer before. And given that residential has always been rumored for the Slave Theater site, it's probably going to happen.

However, the theater will also be restored. The chairman of the New Brooklyn Theater, a group that unsuccessfully tried to buy the site, told the Brooklyn Eagle, the group will "occupy/own" the redeveloped theater, which will be located on the bottom two floors. The chairman also said that the developer told him the there would be "apartment above" the theater.

The Brooklyn Eagle's other story says that the site's new owner is repeatedly clashing with Omar Hardy, the son of the longtime caretaker of the Slave Theater. Hardy and his father tried to win control of the theater after former owner Civil Court Judge John Phillips died, but they were unsuccessful. Hardy told the Brooklyn Eagle that he still accesses the site all the time, and he and his father are trying to raise money to pay for an engineering report so they can build a safe rear exit and get a vacate order lifted. The vacate order has been in place since February 2012.

No permits have been filed with the Department of Buildings for a new structure, but they have been filed to erect a construction fence "to keep out intruders." Hardy thinks this is directed at him, and he told the Eagle that if a fence appears, he'll rip it down. "We are not giving up. We are not giving in."
· Bed-Stuy's Slave Theater development site is bigger than you think [BK Eagle]
· Showdown looming over the Slave Theater in Bed-Stuy [BK Eagle]
· All Slave Theater coverage [Curbed]
Photo via Google Streetview