More About that 3-Level Equinox Gym Coming to Ben Shaoul’s Orchard Street Development
It’s old news that developer-landlord Ben Shaoul attracted Equinox gym to his new ten-story condo project beside Katz’s Deli. But it’s not yet a done deal. More red tape.
The city, vis-a-vis the Board of Standards and Appeals, must first approve a special permit to operate a “physical culture establishment” under current zoning restrictions [PDF]. Standard practice; though the applicants must prove that the facility does not “impair the essential character or the future use or development of the surrounding area.” To that end, the Shaoul-Equinox partnership will present the plan to Community Board 3 next month.
As part of the application materials, several additional details about the Equinox branch have emerged…
The gym is three levels: first floor includes a reception area, lounge, and juice bar, while the second and third floors boast several exercise areas, including yoga and cycling studios. Corporate anticipates between 6,000 and 7,000 members.
Ben “Sledgehammer” Shaoul, along with Real Estate Equities Corp., together purchased the gargantuan assemblage of twelve single-story stores, and the valuable air rights from Katz’s Deli, for a combined $75 million. (Katz’s Deli made off with $17 million of the total, but the other businesses, like Bereket, foundered.) Shaoul’s acquisition was made possible thanks to a cash injection of $97 million from SL Green.
Prices for the ninety-six apartments within the ten-story development start at $1 million. The most pressing question, however, is how long before the new condo owners start complaining about the scent emanating from Katz’s?