After years of institutions getting pushed out of neighborhoods because of rising rents, New Yorkers are accustomed to owners buckling under the pressure of mountings costs and no longer fitting in. Opened in 1939, Atlantic Avenue’s last longshoreman bar, Montero Bar and Grill, survived Robert Moses’s construction of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (which forced it to relocate), the death of the local shipping industry, and the more recent gentrification of the neighborhood, but owner Pepe Montero is, despite feeling conflicted over the decision, apparently ready to part ways with his bar — if the price is right.
A second-generation owner, Montero has bandied up with six neighbors in an attempt to pool their clout and sell their buildings as a joint package for three times what each is worth on its own, a cool $56 million, which works out to $7 million for each property. Montero tells the Times he agreed to join with his neighbors because of everyone else’s interest in selling; the owners were brought together by Brick Real Estate founder and broker Avi Adiv. One developer sees the potential for a South Street Seaport-like future, and as the Times notes, it could really be that the changes to the neighborhood have just become too much to ignore — as it was for beloved Brooklyn beer store and Polish grocer Eagle Provisions, whose owners sold their building because of business pressures and concerns over no longer belonging. Owners selling because of rapid change could soon become as familiar as that of untenable rent hikes.