Report: MOSCOT Ditching Longtime Headquarters for 108 Orchard [Updated]

Posted on: October 1st, 2012 at 6:09 am by
This image has been archived or removed.

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.

This image has been archived or removed.

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.

Recent Stories

My Time Recording the Buzzcocks’ Pete Shelley During his Lower East Side Years

Beloved Buzzcocks frontman Pete Shelley passed away of a suspected heart attack last week (December 6). Ken Lockie, singer-songwriter and sometime collaborator with John (Rotten) Lydon of Public Image Ltd., fondly recalls his time behind the board with Shelley thirty years ago in Williamsburg and on the Lower East Side. Pete Shelley was a charming, likable, […]

Cristin Tierney Gallery Takes Space on the Bowery

The decade-running trend of Chelsea gallery refugees quartering on the Lower East Side continues with news of another. The Cristin Tierney gallery just signed a lease to take over 219 Bowery. It sits one store south of the Camper Lab concept shop, both of which formerly comprised the Chair Up restaurant supplier. Tierney, who had […]

Checking in on the Retail Restoration Project at 59 Bleecker Street

In the year since the dual departure of City Hats and Shapiro’s Hardware from Bleecker Street, the old NoHo corner spot has been under the knife. Shrouded in construction materials, the multimillion-dollar project to restore the century-old structure is now full throttle. Contractors headlong into gutting and chiseling, as evidenced by a recent walkby. The […]

‘Empire Gyro’ Readies 24-Hour Allen Street Eatery for Christmastime Debut

The tradition of 24-hour eateries at the southeast corner of Allen and East Houston continues with Empire Gyro. The new fast food Mediterranean spot, which takes over from the utilitarian Sugar Cafe, has been building out 200 Allen Street since early October. The menu is somewhat predictable, featuring soups, salads, kebabs, and shawarma. Empire Gyro […]

Neighborhood Group Prepares Lawsuit Against City Over Two Bridges Towers

“The City is trying to violate its own law to approve the luxury towers on the Two Bridges waterfront,” announces a flyer from the Lower East Side Organized Neighbors. Mere days after City Council leveled a lawsuit against the City Planning Commission for green-lighting the trio of skyscrapers, more such opposition is in store. The […]