Ben Shaoul Rolls Out the Pile Driver for New 10-Story Condo Development on Orchard Street

Posted on: October 27th, 2015 at 5:17 am by
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With destruction complete, the Sledgehammer is now in construction mode. Ready to deliver ten floors of luxury condos steps west of Katz Deli.

Excavation work just resumed at the project site within the last couple weeks, including the arrival of a backhoe and three-story pile driver.

The dirt pit at the corner of Orchard and East Houston Streets had been stagnating for a couple months. Much of that hiatus is owed to a lawsuit against residents of the notorious Rat Castle at 179 Ludlow. The condo board decided not to grant access to the building for what Shaoul called “non-invasive pre-construction survey, installation of monitoring devices and access to maintain and then remove those devices, and any other code-required protections that serve to protect occupants and property.”

The controversial landlord instead responded with legal proceedings. But apparently that’s all in the past now.

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The forthcoming ten-story (120 feet) mixed-use tumor – carrying the address of 196 Orchard – 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. And lest we forget the air rights from Katz’s Deli. This sale was rumored for nearly a year, but didn’t actually close until last April. Shaoul’s acquisition was made possible thanks to a cash injection of $97 million from SL Green.

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Ben Shaoul’s wet dream at 196 Orchard St.

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