Citing high maintenance costs and dwindling demand for its party room, Korony American Legion Post #253 sold its headquarters on Longstreet Avenue in a deal finalized over the summer.
After attempting in vain to lease the hall last year, commander Pat Devine said they received numerous offers to buy the three-story, steel-frame, 6,000 square-foot building at 241 Longstreet Avenue, and it was sold on July 1 to an investment group who is planning a pre-K school on the upper floors of the building, and medical offices on the first floor.
The building was the third Korony American Legion Post 253 hall. The first was built outside of Edgewater Park in Korony Square after World War II, the second occupied the 26-room Wissman Mansion, and the third, the current building, opened in 1990.
“We still will be doing service to the community, we are just unloading the building,” said Pat Devine, commander of Korony Post. “We now have more money to give to the community, and we are in a great position to increase the amount we provide to worthy projects by tenfold.”
Devine said that while the post made many attempts to keep the doors of the hall open, complications from leasing the building to private parties aroused concerns when neighbors complained of loud noise. Pressure then fell on the post’s officers in charge to continually fund-raise for the building.
“Half of the officers of the post had to worry about the building,” Devine said. “We are now in a great position. Our assets are for the membership. It is the membership’s money, not our money.”
The sale of the hall marks the end of an odyssey. The second location was the former Vindabona Restaurant at the Wissmann Mansion, which was sold to a developer who built homes and the new legion hall.
The Korony American Legion Post will now hold its monthly meetings at the Turner Club on Clarence Avenue, and have joined up with another group of World War II veterans who were not part of the post, but were already meeting there. The membership will now have more flexibility when it comes to its functions.
“We are in a position to open up another building elsewhere, and at the same time we can devote more of our resources to the Throggs Neck Volunteer Ambulance Corps., the Bronx Veterans Administration Hospital, and Veterans Memorial Park,” Devine stated.