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
This image has been archived or removed.

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.

This image has been archived or removed.

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.

This image has been archived or removed.

Prime meat for developers

Recent Stories

Adam Schlesinger Virtual Tribute is in the Works

A virtual tribute to keep the late Adam Schlesinger’s memory shining on is in the works. The Fountains of Wayne co-founder and bassist passed away one year ago due to Covid complications. “This is a proper musical send-off for my soul brother with a bunch of talented and groovy guests that would make Adam wince,” […]

Tre on Ludlow Street Returns Next Month with New Chef

The following guest post was written by Bowery Boogie reader Colton Moore. Tre, the locals Italian restaurant on Ludlow Street, is set to reopen on Saturday, May 1. It’s the first time back open since the pandemic-related sidelining in December. Returning diners will be surprised (and treated) to a new menu; rather than offering full […]

Shakespeare in the Parking Lot Returns from COVID-19 Sidelines

All the world’s a stage… To honor what would be the Bard’s 457th birthday, the ever-so-popular Shakespeare in the Parking Lot is back for a two night affair. Being the first performance from the troupe since the pandemic sidelined it in 2020, the event promises evenings filled with scenes, songs, sonnets, and soliloquies from the […]

Pedestrian Bridge Decay in Corlears Hook Park?

Strange things afoot. For a few days in mid-March, the pedestrian bridge connecting Corlears Hook Park to the East River greenway was closed off. No explanation; just cones and netting. Neighbors claimed that the bridge itself was crumbling, and that concrete debris fell onto the FDR roadway below. However, after a few days closed to […]

Opposition Mounts Against Public Hotel Garden Revamp on Chrystie Street

The 28-story Public Hotel hopes to reconfigure its garden area along Chrystie Street. Neighbors are not having it. Posters in the immediate vicinity display the opposition to the liquor license modification. Claiming that the new garden format would be an “open air eating and drinking playground for the rich.” According to materials submitted to the […]