Fallow for a Decade, Activity Anew at 49 East Houston Lot

Posted on: March 31st, 2017 at 5:17 am by

49east-houston-site-1_wm

Holy shitballs!

There is actually activity to report at 49 East Houston Street, forever the vacant lot and dumping ground.

Yesterday evening, two crowbar-wielding workers were spotted dismantling the splintered plywood, revealing the void created here a decade ago. Word on the street is that the property is up for sale, though we haven’t spotted any listings just yet.

Regardless, construction ain’t gonna happen in the near future.

49 East Houston in 2007, Photo: Google Maps

49 East Houston in 2007, Photo: Google Maps

Before its demise nine years ago, 49 East Houston was a one-story structure built in the 19th century, and later owned by Steve Stollman. In this storefront, the owner sold bars and classic automat machines. But the space also doubled as a haven for bicycle activists – Time’s Up and Critical Mass.

Stollman sold out back in 2008, and in came the wrecking ball. He netted $5.5 million from telecom entrepreneur Michael Hirtenstein and then-partner restaurateur Sean Largotta. Then the economic downturn hit the fan and the investors started suing each other. Legal proceedings remain ongoing, so, despite the purported sale listing, don’t expect progress in this lifetime.

Moreover, DOB records reveal a stop-work order is still in effect from 2011 for “permit holder withdrawal.”

If and when this violation is ever resolved, and/or the property sells, there’s a slight chance we might see a cantilevered Tetris tower rising alongside the Mulberry House. Outdated renderings by architect Arpad Baksa (below) boast a fourteen-story building (144′) with 41 units. Let’s hope this doesn’t happen.

Rendering of 49 East Houston, circa 2010

Rendering of 49 East Houston, circa 2010

Recent Stories

Help Support Gem Spa on St. Mark’s Place Tomorrow

A perfect storm of misfortune has plagued the Gem Spa these last few months, causing a precipitous loss in business. From landlord issues to the temporary ban on cigarette sales and the loss of Zoltar, it’s hitting the bottom line. Fear of forever closure is palpable at 131 Second Avenue. The plight of the East […]

With Champ Depot Out, Bowery Corner Gains Another Gallery

For more than a decade, the Champ Depot restaurant supply company occupied 176 Bowery. Now, its former home is completely empty and fetching for a new deep-pocketed tenant. There is a torrent of listings on Craigslist fishing for suitors (“last corner retail in Nolita”), yet one was already found to occupy the second floor. It’s […]

‘Partybus Bake Shop’ Parks itself on Essex Street

A different kind of party bus is rolling into the Lower East Side this fall. One ostensibly without the drunken mess. It’s Partybus Bake Shop, an artisanal bakery opening in the former Chinese seafood wholesaler at 31 Essex Street. Upon debut next month, expect a “rotating seasonal menu [of] classics including breads, pies, and cookies […]

Scaffolding Finally Deposed from the DL

It’s trading one eyesore for another. The longstanding scaffolding attached to the facade of The DL on Delancey Street is finally gone. Workers deposed the iron appendages earlier this week. You’ll recall that in July 2016,  a chunk of exterior dislodged from 95 Delancey and tumbled to the sidewalk below. The structural collapse resulted in […]

COLORS Restaurant Announces Return to Stanton Street 2 Years After it Closed Down

Two years after COLORS restaurant shuttered, news comes down the pike of its revival. COLORS moved from NoHo to 176 Stanton Street in the winter of 2017, but didn’t quite make a dent. It closed within months of opening. Now, a report that it’ll return sometime next month. The announcement arrived yesterday, on the eighteenth […]