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 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

Join Hester Street at the Third Meeting for a Coastal Resiliency Update! [Sponsor]

JOIN US AT THE THIRD MEETING FOR AN LMCR UPDATE! Tuesday Dec. 19, 2017 6:30pm – 8:30pm PS 184 Shuang Wen 327 Cherry Street (between Clinton St. and Montgomery St.) This meeting will focus on the waterfront from Montgomery Street to the Brooklyn Bridge. ALL ARE WELCOME! Childcare, translation (Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish), and a light […]

Watch the 7th Precinct’s Rap Pitch for Area Youth [VIDEO]

There’s reason for this rhyme… The commanding officer of the Seventh Precinct alongside eight neighborhood coordination officers (NCO) recorded a rap track in a bid to connect with area youth. The barebones bit begins with one officer lifting from the Drake hit (“Energy”), “I got energy, gotta lotta energy; tryin’ to give the ‘hood lots […]

Faux Fur Fashions Come to the Bowery with ‘House of Fluff’ Pop-Up

There hasn’t been anything of note coming out of 342 Bowery since the Subway sandwich shop closed almost three years ago. In that time, the space became yet another gold coast vacancy. It almost became an “underground” sushi outpost, but those plans never happened. Instead, some fluff is here through Christmas-time. A so-called House of […]

Red Compass Loses its Way, Sits Closed for Months

For the second time inside a year, Georgian eatery Red Compass on Orchard Street is closed without notice. Only now, the outage appears permanent. Gates have been drawn during business hours for the last couple months. Calls to the Hell Square establishment all go directly to voicemail. Based on Yelp reviews, it appears the last […]

14-Story Commercial Condo Tops out on East Broadway

Eight months of constant construction has yielded a new tower at the southwest corner of East Broadway and Pike Street. The new commercial condo building, flanked by cranes and construction equipment on a regular basis, just topped out this week at fourteen stories. Installation of the curtain wall (i.e. glass facade) is happening simultaneously. As […]