More About that 3-Level Equinox Gym Coming to Ben Shaoul’s Orchard Street Development

Posted on: May 31st, 2016 at 5:10 am by

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Rendering composite of Ben Shaoul and 196 Orchard St, Photo: Real Deal

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.

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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?

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