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Report: MOSCOT Ditching Longtime Headquarters for 108 Orchard [Updated]
Paper window garnishments arrived in the former Tenement Museum shop a few weeks ago, but clues as to the successor weren’t readily apparent. Routine research regarding the replacement tenant here at 108 Orchard Street yielded plans of a significant Lower East Side gamechanger. One that will forever change the character and dynamic of our beloved neighborhood. It’s not pretty.
Several sources reveal that the longtime MOSCOT headquarters at 118 Orchard Street, its location since 1936, is preparing to move downstairs and across the street to the former Tenement Museum visitors center. Just in time for launch of its latest “Living History” series of frames. Why relocate after three-quarters-of-a-century at the same address, you ask? We are told the two-story building (c. 1934) will soon be razed to accommodate new high-rise luxury living. Something to match the ever-rising skyline of the Lower East Side. This certainly doesn’t bode well for the remainder of old-school stores along that Delancey Street strip of retail. ‘Cos you know those rents are only going higher.
Details surrounding the move and aftermath are rather scant at the moment, as the project is in the prenatal stage of development. However, the property itself recently changed hands. A specific company was set up for the purchase – Ordela LLC – which is an arm of “retail developer” Helm Equities. Public records reveal that the company acquired 118 Orchard in December 2011 for $4.8 million, but the sale didn’t actually go through until June 26, 2012. That said, no permits are on file yet with the DOB.
According to zoning regulations passed in 2008, building heights along this Delancey corridor are limited to twelve stories (120 feet). However, we won’t be surprised if something larger sprouts here.
UPDATE: Moscot brass disputes the report.