Demolition Looms as Wallplay Prepares to Exit 118 Orchard Street Next Month

Posted on: June 20th, 2016 at 5:10 am by
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Here comes the wrecking ball at Orchard and Delancey Streets. More carnage and 12-story luxury rebirth on the way. Though you wouldn’t know it given the sleek new yellow paint job.

It began two months ago with the closure and consolidation of Michele Olivieri shoe store. Now, Wallplay is following suit, soon to shutter its flagship Lower East Side outpost.

The three-year-old creative agency has been on a roll in recent months, having scored success with pop-ups such as the temporary Rip n Dip skate shop and an album release store for pop band The 1975. But with demolition imminent, Wallplay is throwing a graf and trash party of sorts on July 1 (remember: Hanksy on 4th Street), in which fans are invited to both tag and destroy the premises in a final farewell. The facade will be on display until demolition.

This Wallplay swan song, as it were, is dubbed “Exquisite Corpse,” a fitting name for the former headquarters of MOSCOT. (The eyewear brand relocated across Delancey in 2013 after more than 75 years there.) Graf team Mint & Serf spearheaded the idea. The paint job is already underway, having begun last Thursday. Bright yellow is the motif this time around.

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When Wallplay arrived, August 2013

However, Wallplay will maintain its Bowery location beside The Hole gallery. “We’re not leaving the LES we are expanding our next work of spaces and partnering with various galleries,” production manager Jessica Prestia tells us.

As previously reported, Helm Equities (aka David Escava) purchased 118 Orchard Street (aka 86 Delancey) in 2012 for $4.8 million. This transaction was the proverbial nail in the coffin that forced MOSCOT across to its new home south of the border. (It had been there since 1936.) The developer subsequently filed preliminary paperwork with the Department of Buildings in September 2014 to construct a twelve-story mixed-use tower on this larger parcel. It’s languished ever since.

At a height of 120 feet, the high rise is composed of 29,437 square-feet of floor area with twenty-four units. Floors three through eight will carry three apartments each, with duplexes rounding out floors nine through twelve. The ground-level retail space is 5,769 square-feet, and zoned for “use group 6,” which includes a restaurant.

The project remains in DOB purgatory, though. The demolition permit and related plans are still listed as “disapproved.”

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Photo: SWA Architecture

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