Ben Shaoul Makes Quick Work of 194 Orchard Demolition

Posted on: June 16th, 2015 at 5:18 am by
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The former single-story home of the Leather Gallery was the last property to join Ben Shaoul’s nascent development portfolio on upper Orchard Street (for $8.8 million). Yet it’s the first to fall.

The so-called “Sledgehammer” made quick work of 194 Orchard. Demolition lasted a mere two weeks last month, and the commercial building no longer exists. Dust in the wind. And now the digging begins. The sliver parcel is essentially a parking space for a resident backhoe while work progresses on the new ten-story condo tower.

But a partial stop-work order remains in effect at 194 Orchard due to “failure to weatherproof adjacent building.”

The forthcoming ten-story (120 feet) mixed-use tumor boasts 94,923 square-feet of residential area and a commercial footprint of 13,463 square-feet. There will be 83 apartments and an Equinox gym facility. Retail is part of the equation, as well.

Ben Shaoul, along with Real Estate Equities Corp., together purchased this gargantuan assemblage of single-story stores for a combined $75 million. This sale was rumored for nearly a year, but didn’t actually close until April. Shaoul’s acquisition was made possible thanks to a cash injection of $97 million from SL Green.

As previously reported, former owner Hesky Haim (Sky High Group) had been planning to erect his own six-story phallus here. The necessary plans and permits were in place. Together with architect Israel Veles, the team was developing 9,225 square-feet of mixed-use floor area. Sledge put an end to that, though.

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Ben Shaoul’s wet dream at 196 Orchard St.

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