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.'"