The MOSCOT Move and Its Orchard Street Replacement

Posted on: November 14th, 2012 at 6:09 am by and
This image has been archived or removed.

In papering the windows at 108 Orchard Street, contractors are essentially blocking view of what appears to be illegal gut demolition onsite. For the last month-and-change, the former Tenement Museum shop has been a disaster, with mounds of masonry and scattered debris. At last glance, there is no paperwork on file with the DOB for any such action.

This image has been archived or removed.

There’s more to the story. Despite claims to the contrary, rumors of MOSCOT moving across the street to this smaller space are edging closer to truth. But wait! We now hear word that Joe’s Fabrics is packing up the gear for parts unknown, and that the legacy eyewear company will take the space. Makes sense. The ground level footprint of Joe’s has been gated for weeks with DIY signs directing customers to the stairs. Oh, and it’s also worth noting that the building is owned by controversial Lower East Side landlord Baruch Singer.

This image has been archived or removed.

And then there’s the former home of MOSCOT itself – 118 Orchard and its sister at number 120. The story here is a bit more convoluted, but the end game is fairly apparent. New building. Public zoning documents reveal that the two parcels at the corner of Orchard Street were recently combined into one zoning lot. The owner granted the developer “permanent, irrevocable and perpetual easement for light and air over entire parcel.” Such rights were granted in perpetuity, and landowner further agrees not to oppose (i.e. Community Board 3 hearings, etc).

This image has been archived or removed.

So basically, in layman terms, the developer can essentially build whatever it wants within the current zoning restrictions (12 stories on Delancey), and the landowner cannot appear in opposition. The legalese is intentionally ambiguous with regard to any new construction, though – “demolish or renovate the existing building and construct a new building all on the developer land.”

This image has been archived or removed.

Stay tuned…

Recent Stories

Sounds of the Lower East Side, Circa 1934 [VIDEO]

Back in February, we posted a compelling, decades-old video of life in the Big Apple during 1929. The best part about this original footage was the authentic audio track paired to it. Now, the video editor behind that clip (alias Guy Jones) has struck again with a new video of Lower East Side living in […]

Chinatown Bus Block of East Broadway Welcomes New Pizzeria

The de-facto “bus depot” that is East Broadway between Pike and Rutgers will soon welcome its second pizza joint. The as-yet-unnamed slice spot is to take up residence in the east store of 150 East Broadway, the space previously held by a short-lived barbershop. With this addition alongside the Japanese dessert shop, The Little One, […]

It Took 6 Days to Assemble this Prefab LES Condo Development

Second announced, but first to the finish, 193 Henry Street is considered the first modular housing development on the Lower East Side. And it took less than a week to stack up the building blocks. Brooklyn-based Think! Architecture + Design was quick to point out this week on Instagram that the new seven-story construction was swiftly […]

10-Story ODA Condo Tops out on Chrystie Street

One of two ODA-designed condo towers along Chrystie just reached the top. The construction at 165 Chrystie Street topped out within the last couple weeks, boasting the token visuals of vertical completion. Flags. Not one, two, or three, but four national flags. A veritable United Nations forum with America, Russia, China, and Israel. Reaching this […]

Disarmed: Partner Dispute Leads to Shutter of Suffolk Arms

Suffolk Arms mysteriously shuttered during the first week of April due to “renovations” and “mechanical upgrades.” Sounds convincing … not. Apparently, the closure is related to a dispute between co-owners Giuseppe González and well-regarded bartender Ruben Rodriguez. The former allegedly sought the ouster of the latter this past winter. However, according to a report in […]