Ben Shaoul’s Magnum Realty is Confirmed as Buyer of Orchard-Houston Block of Real Estate

Posted on: September 2nd, 2014 at 5:33 am by
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While the city prepared the mass departure for Labor Day, some big news came to light regarding the imminent development of Orchard and East Houston. Rumors of its fate have been circulating since last year, but chatter is now at fever pitch. First, we learned that Katz’s Deli sold off their valuable air rights. Proprietor Jake Dell couldn’t confirm the purchaser, nor for which address, but we can all just read between the lines. That fatty nugget also coincided with the revelation that Taqueria is now scouting two different locations. It won’t be long before the remaining businesses follow suit. Katz’s, however, is safe.

Since breaking the story in December 2013, we had fairly solid intel all along that Ben “Sledgehammer” Shaoul was in contract to purchase the parcels from the Magnano family (which owned and operated Ray’s Pizza) and was buying out the tenants. Well, we can now confirm the truth. Some sleuthing reveals that the principals of the new owner entity – MB/Reec Houston St LLC – are Marc Ravner and Mark Seigel. Marc and Mark are together a direct, traceable link into Magnum Real Estate Group, Shaoul’s company. In fact, Ravner is partner.

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Bereket with drill front and center, August 2014

Mystery solved. Shaoul will continue his sledge-wielding ways. Give it time.

As for the replacement building, expect a tower of roughly twelve stories. The 2008 rezoning of the Lower East Side limits the heights here to 120 feet (if there’s inclusionary housing). And now presumably armed with Katz’s air rights, a possible cantilever could be in the cards. Unless they found a loophole to make this thing twenty stories.

The aforementioned Magnano family at one point owned and operated more than a dozen Ray’s parlors around the city, and claimed to be the original. The East Houston restaurant was one of them.

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Prime meat for developers

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