Is Phat Albert on a diet?

Speculation is mounting that the local discount empire may be in trouble. Last month fellow blog The Q at Parkside reported that a sister location on Clarkson was slated to close. More recently the flagship for the chain on Flatbush consolidated space in its store and put up the remaining footage for rent. And in the last few days large sale banners have gone up outside the store.

The outlet has long been a magnet for controversy in the community. Both its external appearance has been criticized along with poor upkeep of the building that once housed the Bond Bread company. When the property was sold in the 1990s, many mourned the loss of an opportunity to use the structure for a community center or school. Reportedly even Borough President Marty Markowitz once made attempts to restore the clock tower and return the area icon to some of its former stature. But few including this writer have had any success reaching out to owner Albert Srour to discuss the role of the business in the neighborhood.

Would the site go up for sale nothing would prevent a developer from demolishing the nearly century old building.

“I would love to see it landmarked,” said real estate broker Barbara Rogers. “Let’s get a whole neighborhood thing going.”

How would you like to see the former factory used? Would you support preservation and restoration or use the land for another purpose?