Brooklyn, NY - Last Tuesday, on the last day of August, I watched painters put the finishing touches on a new Snapchat mural covering the old Triangle Sports building at 182 Flatbush Avenue. I snapped a few photos of the building, wondering who, if anyone, still uses Snapchat?
Later that day, I saw an Instagram post with a photo of the triangle-shaped building on the corner of 5th Avenue and Dean Street, with the question: What’s this new place opening up?
The answer is, nothing. One IG user commented: It’s a new Snapchat ad! Yes, it’s a paint job, but nothing more. Despite the bright yellow and black images (of animals inside a boat?), the space inside remains empty. The three-story structure has been vacant since 2012 when then-owner Henry Rosa sold the property for just over $4 million to RedSky Capital, who subsequently sold it for $7 million to Hidrock Properties in 2019.
Still, the Snapchat mural is a welcome change, even if its impact is only surface level. For years now, the space at 182 Flatbush Ave has been a depressing eyesore. Situated directly across the street from the Barclays Center, one would think that investors would have done something interesting with the unique structure. Aside from a dilapidated Adidas campaign covering the windows on the first floor for a few years, the space has been largely neglected, with boarded-up windows on the upper levels.
If you are unfamiliar with this part of Brooklyn, you might never guess that its previous tenant, the aptly-named Triangle Sports, occupied the building for nearly a century. Check out the New York Public Library’s archive for a photo from 1942, showing the “Triangle Store” facade, back when they sold guns. By the 1980s, the name had changed to Triangle Sports. You can see the new storefront in a photo from the New York City Municipal Archives’ Department of Finance Collection.
Triangle Sports shut down nearly 10 years ago, not due to loss of business, but simply because the owners were ready to retire. If anything, with the Barclays Center opening up in 2012, Triangle Sports would have seen an increase in sales with the increase in foot traffic. Patch reported that Henry Rosa didn’t want to sell to any business that would be “detrimental” to the neighborhood. But so far, no new businesses have occupied the space.
So, who still uses Snapchat? A lot of young people, apparently. This Sunday, the Barclays Center will be hosting the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards, guaranteeing a large number of eyes on that corner of Flatbush Ave. I’m curious how long the Snapchat mural will stay up. I’m also curious how much longer the building itself will remain empty.
Do you remember the old Triangle Sports store at 182 Flatbush Avenue? Did you know it had been there for nearly a century?
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