$45M Bowery Transaction Pushes New York Lighting Two Doors Down

Posted on: November 13th, 2014 at 5:00 am by
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Things are moving fast down at Bowery and Broome, where a block of five buildings recently sold for $45 million. The 75,000 square-foot “development site” had been pitched for over a year, but the transaction finally went through last month. 134-142 Bowery, including a pair of eighteenth century Federal-style row houses, is now in the hands of an unnamed local developer rumored to be John Young of Emmut Properties.

No sooner had we reported the news than this scaffolding appeared outside 134 Bowery. Apparently there are some remedial repairs happening to the facade (paint job, etc). However, the DOB actually disapproved the plans.

New York Lighting is the business most affected by the sale. On the Bowery for three decades, it’s been hawking lighting at this two-address footprint in recent years. We are told that the operation is on the move again, this time two doors down to 132 Bowery. Future construction will no doubt “isolate” the store.

While plans are likely underway to construct a monument to the gods of luxury, there are a couple additional road blocks. First of all, the area in question resides on the west side of the Bowery, land protected by the Special Little Italy District. Meaning, building height is limited to eighty-five feet. As for contextual, “exterior materials of the front wall shall be predominantly of masonry.”

And second, we hear that there is also at least one rent-controlled tentant. That could become a protracted fight.

Meanwhile, as reported, two Federal-style row houses are also falling victim to the sale. We noted the endangered status of 134-136 Bowery earlier this year. Both were built around 1798 for Samuel Delaplaine and during their long history housed the Carmel Chapel of Reverend Dooley, the New York City Mission and the art studios of Eva Hesse, Billy Apple and Gilda Pervin. They surivived this long and should be treasured for their steeply pitched roofs, gabled dormers, Flemish-bond brickwork as well as their significant cultural contribution to this town.

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