Longtime Bayside firm Pilling Real Estate closed a big sale—its own building.
After more than 30 years in the same Bayside office at 42-18 Bell Blvd., the firm packed up everything Monday, July 28, in preparation to move after owner Betty Pilling sold the building for $1.15 million in May, according to city records.
The new owner, Bell Realty, plans to transform the building, which was built in 1931 according to the Department of City Planning, into a three-story mixed-use residential and commercial structure.
“There is a lot more that you could get out of that land than what we were doing with it,” Pilling said. “It was just time.”
Despite the sale, the owner and brokers of Pilling Real Estate are not leaving Bayside. The company plans to merge with another local firm, yet to be announced.
Frances Lee Pilling founded the realty firm in 1953. She moved the business in 1981 to the building on Bell Boulevard, which was a farmhouse converted to office space, according to the younger Pilling.
The building will expand from two stories to three and will have four residential units, according to the Department of Buildings filings. It will be similar to the relatively new building next door, a four-story mixed-use residential and commercial building, where a new fried chicken restaurant plans to open on the first floor.
“I feel bad, because it was kind of a standout building,” Pilling said. But she added, “[Bell Realty] has wonderful plans. They are an extremely established firm. They are not a fly-by-night builder.”
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