Tuesday, September 8, 2009

East 14th Street destined to become just like West 14th Street



As you know, we've been watching the R&S Strauss auto parts store on East 14th Street at Avenue C. Last May, the building was reportedly quietly put on the market for $13 million. And according to the Massey Knakal Web site, the building was sold in January for $12.3 million. As the site noted: "The lot measures 114’9” x 88’and has a total buildable square footage of approximately 36,125 sq. ft. for residential use or 68,262 sq. ft. for a community facility, which will likely be the ultimate use of the property."

We wrote the following on April 6:

News of a possible community facility is a relief for those among us thinking this sale could signal, as Jeremiah Moss wrote, "an opening for the overall Meatpacking effect that is rippling up and down this main artery to reach deep into the East Village."


Yeah, well: Stupid us for feeling any possible relief. According to the Times, the Arun Bhatia Development Organization -- who specialize in luxury condos and dorms -- bought the space. The Times article on the development of the eastern end of 14th Street concludes with the following on the former R.S. Strauss space:

The site, marketed for development, allows for stores and dozens of apartments, explained Joe Sitt, the Massey Knakal broker who handled the deal.



Yes, Mr. Sitt said, the nearby blocks, which hold mostly chain- and diner-variety eateries, have a way to go before they attract hip West 14th Street-style restaurants. But those typically follow new residences, and residents.



"It's not about 'Build it and they will come,'" he said. "It's 'Put a roof over their heads and they will dine.'"




Previously.

11 comments:

Bowery Boogie said...

simply cringeworthy. what douchebags.

Anonymous said...

joe sitt? of coney island fame?

Goggla said...

That guy sure gets around...

Hmm, well, I'd like to see the likes of High-Line-MePa take root over here in this economic climate. I foresee another Avalonesque brick apartment block with a ramen joint on the ground floor.

Anonymous said...

But does anyone think this "Eastpacking" thing is really going to happen, at least any time soon? Yes, obviously the upper East Village has been thoroughly douchified over the past decade, but unemployment is still rising, things could economically get a lot worse, and I'm not sure the market is still there for such things. Do luxury condo buyers really want to live in between a power plant and the projects?

Consider, the luxury Copper Building on B/13th (Roberto Clemente Center) doesn't seem to have sold ANY units (except for the commercial space, http://www.streeteasy.com/nyc/building/215-avenue-b-new_york). And the 14th Street space between A/B that used to house the big appliance store didn't upscale; it's now a budget-fashion Rainbow Shop (fun fact: the entry-door floors still have the inlaid "Woolworth's" insignia in marble!).

Maybe it's because I've seen too many elderly, families, and artists get pushed out, and so I am hoping for its failure, but I just don't think Eastpacking is going to happen.

Ken from Ken's Kitchen said...

The site of the former R&S store purchased by the Arun Bhatia Development Organization may have been "marketed for development, allows for stores and dozens of apartments," but I wouldn't count on seeing luxury housing and an Alexander McQueen east side location any time soon. Not as long as the projects sit in the back yard and a Con Ed Power Plant belches whatever diagonally across the street.

EV Grieve said...

I'd like to know what happened to the plans for the "community facility" at this space...

Anonymous said...

not joe sitt of CI fame...simply a senior broker at MK with the same name.

Given Bhatia's track record and expereince my guess is that he sits on the property for a couple years see which way the wind is blowing and in the unlikely event of a full blown recovery builds a mixed use luxury building or more likely goes into contract with NYU and builds a dorm (poor Gregg Singer heh heh heh).

Anonymous said...

OK, serious question time: How many damn dorms does NYU even NEED? It seems as if they can't stop building them, surely to god they've housed nearly all their little spoiled brats by now?

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I get the feeling that NYU puts just one student in each dorm room, which is why the university needs so many dorms.

Jill said...

Maybe they can build a frat house and the partygoers will think the Con Ed fumes are a new way to get high.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully the hipsters and yuppies get there asses whipped by the thugs in the projects nearby.