This newly renovated building looms over Palmetto Street between Bushwick and Evergreen Avenues, and while neighbors are happy it’s been rehabilitated, they aren’t thrilled with the paint job. — Photo by Jonathan Mena

The owner of a newly renovated, checkerboard-patterned building at 64 Palmetto Street has begun renting apartments amid mixed reviews on its appearance from neighbors.

Abe Green of Buildings USA, LLC, is the developer of the six-family building near Bushwick Avenue and calls the paint job a "piece of art." Green said his goal was to bring "a new attraction to the neighborhood."

 
Neighbors debate the new paint job. (Jonathan Mena)

Green claims to have rented all but one apartment in the building since last week’s opening — the units range in price from $1000 to $3000, depending on size. The building is named "Ocean Blue Residence" and the color theme runs throughout the apartments with "blue walls, blue lights, and murals on every floor of blue oceans and skies."

It took three coats of paint and over a week to complete the exterior paint job.

"We originally wanted to make condos but the market is so bad so we did rentals instead," said Green. When asked what the tenants think and how neighbors have reacted, Green claims, "everyone has been positive — the paint job must be what attracted the tenants to the building."

Reviews on the building have varied among neighbors. One who has lived in the area for over 20 years and can see the building from his house on Bushwick Avenue, said the building doesn’t bother him at all.

"The man has the right to paint his home the way he sees fit," said David C. as he fixed a door on his brownstone. When asked if he would paint his home the same way, he laughed. "No, I like the way my house looks now."

 
A mural of a beach scene in one of the apartments, with blue skies and clouds painted on the ceiling. (c/o developer)

But a retiree who owns a house down the block at the corner of Evergreen Avenue called the building an "eyesore."

"They should have painted it a nice blue. It looks ugly next to all the other houses," she said.

The building has become an attraction of sorts, with passersby in cars slowing down to gawk and small groups of neighbors congregating in front to discuss the color.

"Before they fixed the building it was run down and abandoned. The gangs and the welfare people messed it up," said the corner neighbor. "Now it looks better and it is also very nice inside but I still don’t like the color."

Green said he has plans to renovate more buildings and continue his checkerboard stucco jobs; construction will begin soon in a building on Greene Avenue near Wyckoff that will have a lavender color theme.

"The blue building was run down before we fixed it up. The block is better and people are happy," said the developer.

"I think it was a success."