Report: Ben Shaoul Purchases Lot of Low-Rise Buildings on East Houston for Development; Businesses to Vacate in May

Posted on: March 17th, 2014 at 5:19 am by

east-houston-low-rise

Relish that open air spanning the one block of East Houston from Orchard to Ludlow Streets; savor the flavor of Bereket, Empanada Mama, and Ray’s Pizza. Word is, it will soon disappear. In all likelihood, Hell Building part deux is probably on the way.

At the end of December last year, we reported on some rumors that the notorious slumlord Ben “Sledgehammer” Shaoul was in contract (or close) to acquire the properties occupied by 196-198 Orchard and 187 East Houston. Now the talk has gone from whispers to shouting. We hear he’s pretty busy in this neck of the woods, and his intentions are much more alarming than previously believed.

Reliable sources allege that Shaoul just bought the entire lot of single-story buildings along this strip, and that lease buyouts were offered to merchants operating in these stores. Apparently commercial tenants have until May to vacate.

This is an absolute game changer, opening up a nice chunky “L” for some serious development. From what we understand, the portfolio purchased includes Bereket and around the corner to Karaoke Boho on Orchard (Katz’s not affected).

No sales are currently on file with the city for this address; DOB is also silent.

les-zoning

What’s worrisome is that the 2008 rezoning is not so favorable to East Houston. In this new C6-2A district (Houston, west of Essex), developers are permitted to build up to twelve stories (or 120 feet). That’s with inclusionary housing [PDF].

Said one of our tipsters, “it’s hard to imagine a single block is being subjected to such a massive unwanted upheaval (with absolutely no benefit to the residents).”

In light of this purported monster deal, it’s rather appropriate to mention here that the Sledge is currently being sued by his own parents. Mom and pop allege that Ben treats Magnum Real Estate (the family company) like a “personal piggy bank,” and misappropriated millions from refinanced mortgages on properties he co-owned with them.

Recent Stories

What to Expect at the 7th Annual Governors Ball Festival Next Weekend

Consistent warm weather is nearly upon us, and with it, so is the seventh helping of Governors Ball. This year, New York City’s homegrown music festival will be doling out yet another jam-packed list of musicians to take over Randall’s Island Park next weekend, June 2 – 4. Tool is slated as a headliner, and it’ll be […]

‘Jones LES’ Luxury Rental Development Sells for $61M

Exactly one year after it hit the market, the luxury rental complex at 331 East Houston, dubbed “Jones LES,” is under new ownership. The development changed hands for an unbelievable $61 million. Gili Haberberg, an investor who runs Arkar Inc., will shell out $61 million for the 67,600-square-foot elevator building situated between Attorney and Ridge streets. According to […]

AG Introduces Bill that Would Hold Slumlords Criminally Accountable for Tenant Harassment

There is finally a bit of momentum in combating slumlords who have made an apparent cottage industry out of tenant harassment. Offenders such as Steve Croman, Dean Galasso, and Samy Mahfar are finally being held accountable, even if the punishments don’t necessarily fit the bill. Yesterday, state attorney general Eric Schneiderman introduced a new bill that […]

Football Cafe Returns After Month-long Forced Closure from Building Renovations

Birds & Bubbles was not alone. Alleged negligent renovation work at 100 Forsyth Street also played a role in the brief shutter of address mate Football Cafe. The coffee shop had been temporarily closed for the past month without much indication as to why. Unspecified “renovations” was the reason provided via computer printout. We’ve since confirmed, […]

The Pier 35 Screenwall Installation this Week is the Most Activity Here in 3 Years

It’s actually happening. Clean the crust from you eyes. Work has finally resumed at Pier 35 on the Lower East Side waterfront. Steel elements for the problematic screenwall – the shield for the neighboring pier and cause for much of the delay – began arriving this week, about three months later than promised. Crews were […]