Misrahi’s Long-Vacant 11 Essex Street Sells for $11.4M

Posted on: August 31st, 2017 at 5:08 am by

Eight years sitting empty, and a quarter of that time on the chopping block, a notorious Essex Street tenement building just sold for big bucks.

Real estate scion, Sion Misrahi of Misrhai Realty, parted with 11 Essex Street for $11.4 million. Slightly discounted from the $12.5 million price tag sought since late 2015. Buyer of record is 11 Essex Realty LLC, which picked up the property on August 15.

However, let’s not forget that 11 Essex brings with it quite a controversial history. Misrahi purchased the five-story building back in 2001. Several years later, the landlord succeeded in vacating the predominantly Chinese low-income residents, purportedly under the guise of emergency repair work. Construction of the neighboring condo at 7 Essex had already destabilized the structure years earlier, and Misrahi allegedly did little to repair the issues until it was too late. The Department of Buildings ultimately issued a full vacate order in May 2009 due to unsafe conditions.

The Villager noted at the time:

Across from Seward Park, 11 Essex St.’s top story leans out 9 inches over the ground floor. Inside, metal poles prop up caving-in ceilings. Out back, bricks have tumbled from the facade, leaving gaping holes behind.

On May 27, the Department of Buildings issued a full-vacate order, giving the rent-protected tenants just a few hours to pack up their apartments before the front door was locked behind them.

Before the vacate order in May, Misrahi had already cleared out most of the building’s tenants: As of this spring, only six of the 22 units were occupied.

Misrahi said he offered buyouts to some of the original tenants so he could fix up the building. He would not say how much he paid, except that it was less than $30,000 per apartment.

Longtime tenants said Misrahi persistently combined buyout offers with harassment in an effort to get them out of the building.

There had also been subsequent plans to enlarge the building in 2010, but that proposal was disapproved by the DOB. That path may likely resume now that the property is sold. Don’t be surprised if demolition permits soon follow.

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