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Former Dyker Heights orphanage site will get apartments and a school

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The new owner is looking to preserve the existing structure, and bring condos, affordable housing, and a school to the site

Christopher Bride/PropertyShark

A sprawling former orphanage in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn is set to be converted into condos, affordable housing, and senior housing, the Brooklyn Paper has learned. The Sisters of Mercy previously owned Angel Guardian Home and operated a foster care program and a senior center within the building for the past several years. In December 2017, the group sold the block-long site to an unnamed developer, and local residents have wondered about the future of the site ever since.

This week, developer Scott Barone finally broke his silence to the Brooklyn Paper, and revealed himself as the new owner of the site (the deal is yet to officially close). Barone told the Brooklyn Paper that he was bound by a confidentiality agreement that prevented him from speaking about the development until now.

News of the proposed sale first broke in early 2016; The sisters intended to relocate and wanted to sell off their long-time Dyker Heights home (they built it in 1899). In the months since, local residents and elected officials have been campaigning to save the building. Following the news of the sale last year, residents were working to have the building landmarked, not knowing what the future would hold for the site.

Barone’s chat with the Brooklyn Paper should alleviate those concerns somewhat. Barone told the paper that he spent months reading local news coverage of the site to see what residents wanted in regards to the new development, and said that he’s factored those opinions into his new plan.

The 1899 structure will not demolished, but Barone hasn’t yet decided how he plans to redevelop the building. The entire site is bound by 12th and 13th Avenues, and 63rd and 64th Streets. Barone’s plan is to use 60 percent of the site for market-rate condos, 15 percent for affordable housing, and the remainder to be split between a new school and senior housing. He has also promised that a senior center that was displaced by the sale will be allowed to return to the site (once it’s redeveloped) to occupy the same amount of space, and at the same rent.

The deal is still two to three months away from closing, according to Barone, but he’s not seeking a rezoning for the site, so work could start as early as the end of this year. Without the rezoning, local residents can at least rest assured that there won’t be any skyscrapers going up in this part of Brooklyn anytime soon. Once work gets underway, Barone estimates it will take about three years to complete.