For years, the NW corner of Lincoln and Franklin (aka 788 Franklin) was the site of open drug activity and violence that was pretty intense.
I moved to the area in 2003, and can attest it was violent between 2003 and 2009. Friends who lived in the area prior to 2003 have told me the corner had been the site of violence and drug dealing for literally decades beforehand.
In the summer of 2010, the activities in the immediate area began to be discussed here, on the Brooklynian website:
-Open Drug dealing.
-Police "Impact Zone" observation towers.
-Police foot patrols.
As the fall of 2010 arrived, the drug dealers seemed to become much more discreet. The business of selling easily concealed, quickly handed-off, thumb-size plastic bags seemed to be falling off.
During each season of 2011, I witnessed fewer and fewer transactions take place. Sales appeared to be on the decline.
During the Spring of 2012, the corner seemed to lose its reputation as a reliable place for strangers to score. What once had been a 24 hour open drug mart, now seemed to be changing.
Most of the time, the site began to host only deals that had been pre-arranged by phone. Customers without appointments began to be restricted to the hours of 1 AM - 5 AM.
Then, a few months ago, the 24 hour bodega that seemed to be the longtime base of the activity (788 Franklin) was struck by a medium size fire, and closed. The few sellers and buyers that remained instantly lost a key source of warmth, cover, cigarettes, and 40 oz beers. Presumably, they went to locations that were more reliable, and provided better accommodations.
Neighborhood residents (such as yours truly) watched with great interest. We predicted that the site would not be vacant for long and when it reopened, it would be different.
A few weeks ago, renovations began. Recently, I learned from a reliable source what it will become: A casual restaurant that specializes in Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.