Former Roumanian Synagogue Building at 70 Hester Street Sold

Posted on: December 31st, 2012 at 6:28 am by

70 hester street

Is it just us or is Lower East Side change occurring at a most freakish pace these days? The old is being razed while the new raises property values and costs of living. Seriously. Take the last week, for example. In this tiny time period alone, we learned that the Living Room is moving at the end of January, Beth Hamedrash Hagadol wants to overturn landmark status in order to “save” the congregation, and that the Lowline will likely boost real land values by between $10 and $20 million. And how was your holiday?

Today the New York Times reveals that the original Roumanian-American Synagogue location at 70 Hester Street (note the Moorish-style windows) was recently sold to an unidentified party for an undisclosed amount via Brown Harris Stevens (“Luxury Residential Real Estate”). The artist couple who ditched the 112-year-old building – Thomas Nozkowski and Joyce Robins – had lived there since 1967, but would change their primary residence in 1992. They’ve been month-to-month ever since, and were finally booted by the building owner in June. They won a stay of eviction until the end of the year – today. Pardon the cliche, but we should definitely fear the worst and hope for the best. Here’s why:

The existing building has roughly 4,000 square feet of space, but zoning rules would permit an 11,288-square-foot structure on the lot, which “makes this desirable for a developer,” the Web listing said. “But for the buyer who wants to renovate and own a piece of significant New York history, this dramatic synagogue is worth the restoration,” the listing continued. Whether the buyer considers it a tear-down or a fixer-upper is a mystery at the moment.

70 Hester also plays host to the mysterious window leafing of B.B. Muhlfelder.

Recent Stories

orchard-hell-retail
Orchard Hell Building Retail Units Sell For $21M

Ever since the branded sidewalk bridge arrived in October, the commercial retail in the base of the 23-story Orchard Hell Building has been dormant. Cushman & Wakefield is still pimping the properties – separate from the Hotel Indigo upstairs – for possible flagship usage. But now, a wrinkle in the story… The Real Deal reported […]

farmhouse-ludlow
‘Farmhouse Restaurant’ Replaces Sebastian LC on Ludlow Street

Our suspicions about the Sebastian LC closure late last year were at least partially confirmed this week. Yes, the corner restaurant is back open, but not with the same moniker. Management is forsaking the French fare for the more generic American style cuisine. Farmhouse Restaurant announced itself a couple days ago with a new sign […]

whynot-orchard
Whynot Cafe on Orchard Street Fails, Looks to Become ‘Sushi Wa’

Whynot, because it couldn’t. Whynot Cafe failed to gain traction due in large part to its inability to secure a full liquor license. Their two bids met stiff resistance from the community including the LES Dwellers. And now it’s on last legs. Rumblings of its closure had circulated for the last week, but their PR […]

goa-taco-extension
Goa-Taco Extends Its Residency on Delancey Another Month; Scouting Permanent Location

Fans of Goa-Taco on Delancey Street will be happy to hear this. The tiny lunch counter alongside Grey Lady just reupped its tenancy for an additional month, and will continue to serve Paratha tacos here through the end of March. “The response has been really positive with us being in the area,” owner Duvaldi Marneweck […]

essex-market-demolition-1
Plywood Fence Arrives at Essex Market Buildings for Demolition Ahead of Essex Crossing

It begins… The first plywood fence of the Essex Crossing mega-project just arrived, with the rear parking lot of 115 Delancey Street now cordoned off. Demolition of the one-story warehouse building is slated to commence early next week – likely Monday – and kick off more than a decade of dust and (additional) noise in […]