With Lawsuits Settled, 49 East Houston Street Returns to Market for About $20M
When the plywood boards came down last week, it was a sure sign of revival for 49 East Houston Street. The vacant lot lay follow for nine years due to a perfect storm of economic turmoil and subsequent litigation.
Now, former building owner Steve Stollman, who sold the property to the investors Michael Hirtenstein and Sean Largotta in 2008 with the understanding of equity in the new project, tells us that the legal wrangling is apparently settled. He had sued the duo three years ago for about $9 million, claiming he was financially damaged because nothing was built.
“The settlement calls for me to sell the property and if I can get enough we share the proceeds,” Stollman quips. “Otherwise he gets to pay me off and get rid of me.”
“Since the last 9 years have brought a lot of spectacular development in Nolita and since this is one of the last blank spots in the vicinity, the price will 3 or 4 times what it was back in 2008,” Stollman tells us.
As such, Stollman is trying for the realm of $20 million, and believes the proximity to the Puck Building – with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s penthouse – will generate enough interest from “around the globe.”
Now that the new perimeter fence is built, Stollman is paying tribute to the rich history of the block with a graphic display highlighting well-known characters. For instance, Nikola Tesla, who invented alternating current and remote controls, worked in a laboratory across the street. (Before its demise nine years ago, 49 East Houston was a one-story structure built in the 19th century.) The pseudo-exhibit is called “The Mulberry Street Gang.”
Stollman was a fixture on the block for years before selling out. In this storefront, he sold bars and classic automat machines. But the space also doubled as a haven for bicycle activists – Time’s Up and Critical Mass.