With Redevelopment Stalled, Provident Loan Society Building Hits Market for $20M

Posted on: July 30th, 2018 at 4:34 am by

The bank is for sale.

Despite the city’s approval of redevelopment last December, the Provident Loan Society building on East Houston Street is now on the chopping block. Longtime owners Elsa and Dunnie Lai, who purchased the centenary structure nearly thirty years ago, are now looking to sell. Price sought for the non-landmarked landmark is a hefty $20 million.

Cushman & Wakefield is the brokerage of record, and currently advertises the property as a “prime development opportunity.” And calls attention to those plans as opportunity in its marketing materials.

Indeed, its placement on the open market follows roughly eight months after the Department of Buildings approved the years-in-the-making proposal for a mixed-use, twelve-story protrusion from 225 East Houston. This despite prior grassroots support to urge protection of the century-old structure, and secure the ever-elusive landmark designation.

Rendering by Rogers Partners Architects

The approved layout, as it stands, calls for 38 rental apartments, plus several recreational terraces and fitness rooms for tenants, all spread across more than 35,000 square-feet of floor area. There is also bicycle storage with twelve spaces and commercial retail, presumably on the ground floor (6,800 square-feet). Floors eight through twelve cantilever over the Mercury Lounge, made possible thanks to the acquisition of 9,238 square-feet of air rights from that property, as first reported here in January 2015.

The Provident Loan Society financial institution erected the Classical Revival-style building in 1912. It’s apparently the most intact of the dozen remaining former bank branches dotting the city. During its latter years, the building was the residence-studio of Jasper Johns (whose work inspired the renderings) and a string of clubs including Manhattan Gentlemen’s Club (strip club), a goth nightclub known as Chaos, The Bank, and Element.

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