Historic Properties Fund

459-461 Myrtle Avenue – New Storefront

459-461 Myrtle Avenue – New Storefront
459-461 Myrtle Avenue – New Storefront

2011

New Storefront for the Five Spot Soul Food Establishment

The Wallabout neighborhood developed in the 19th century as a community for workers at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, several blocks to the north. Buildings on Myrtle Avenue were originally built for mixed uses, with retail on the ground floor and residential on the upper floors, as they are used today. Adjacent to the Fort Greene and Clinton Hill Historic Districts, the Wallabout Historic District was listed in the State and National Registers in March of 2011.

The Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project (MARP), a local community development organization which administers a storefront upgrading program, introduced the owner of two adjacent buildings at 459 and 461 Myrtle Avenue to the Fund. These properties are two, three-story Italianate brick and brownstone row houses built circa 1880 with commercial storefronts and apartments on the upper levels. Armstead Risk Management had purchased them in 1998 and was operating Five Spot Soul Food — two related businesses on the ground floor: a soul food take-out kitchen and a restaurant dining club .

MARP had committed State Main Street Grants toward the renovation of the two storefronts and needed a financing partner to provide the bulk of the funds needed for the project. The owner was willing to take on the necessary debt, and a Fund loan of $175,000 was used to restore the brownstone facades, replace windows, and repair and paint other exterior features, and most prominently to fabricate and install a new double storefront, entry, and signage on the ground floor restaurant spaces, in keeping with MARPs design goals for Myrtle Avenue. Ellis & Donnelly was the project architect, and Lime Light Construction was the contractor. Cecil King Stone & Restoration performed the brownstone work.