Your findings are bad news: It is my understanding that vacant, unimproved properties in NYC are subject to very low property taxes. So, given that this guy owns that eyesore outright, we may have to look at it until the end of time.
Is the owner (ahem, "Developer") the guy who was living in the former laundry mat from approx 2003 - 2007 with his large dogs?
So let me get this straight:
a. Pre 1983 guy owns property, but does not pay taxes on it.
b. In 1983, property is seized by city, then sold to same guy and a developer.
c. Property falls into further disrepair. Finally becoming so decrepit that people will no longer to their laundry there, and instead walk down block.
d. Homeless people (and possibly owner) move into residence.
e. Sometime around 2004. As per first hand conversation between myself and Skibo: Skibo, the local book seller, lived there.
f. Around 2007. Hair brained scheme is created to create 8 story masterpiece that would result in 8 tiny apartments, costing more per square foot than most units in the Meier building.
f. About 2008. Scheme fails, despite being concocted during the biggest boom in 80 years. Skibo disappears (he was a good guy!).
g. Present time. Same guy still owns building.
For better or worse, the change on Nostrand is going to make the change on Franklin look minor.