Ben Shaoul KO’s that 6-Story Condo Project Planned for 194 Orchard Street
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For the last two years, 194 Orchard Street was to have a met a similar fate as its corner neighbors. Owner Hesky Haim (Sky High Group) was planning to demolish the single-level commercial building to insert his own six-story phallus into this battered nether region of the Lower East Side. The necessary plans and permits were in place. Together with architect Israel Veles, the team was developing 9,225 square-feet of mixed-use.
Was is the operative word. Those plans are officially kaput. Seriously, did you really think that Ben “Sledgehammer” Shaoul would allow this residential project to rise so close to his turf. Nope. The landlord-developer purchased the property, and rolled it into the development parcel of 196 Orchard Street.
Public records indicate that 194 Orchard – formerly home to the Leather Gallery (now resides down the block) – netted a paltry $8.8 million earlier this month. Buyer is the same “MB-REEC Houston Property Owner LLC,” which is the fancy corporate shell of Ben Shaoul’s Magnum Realty operation.
This fractional amount is factored into the overall sale price of $75 million for the whole development site, which includes four properties from two (former) owners.