Monday, January 9, 2012
Yesterday, the Post had a feature on William Gottlieb, the unlikely real-estate baron who died from a stroke at age 64 in 1999. His portfolio of more than 100 properties — with an esitmated value of $1 billion or so — has been locked up in a family legal battle ever since then. (You can read the article here for all that intrigue.)
Anyway, his nephew Neil Bender, 56, now has control of the properties, and has began unloading them. Properties in our area owned by the new Gottlieb empire: The Houston Street Mystery Lot that recently hit the market, as The Lo-Down reported in November, as well as 104 E. 10th St., which explains why playwrite-poet-artist Edgar Oliver is no longer living there. (Read Jeremiah's post on this address and Oliver here.)
As the Post noted, Gottlieb, who was born in Coney Island, "looked like a bum, drove a station wagon with busted windows and carried his important papers in a shopping bag." He was also a lawyer who often did repairs on his properties himself.
The article points out the sale of these assorted properties could "remake downtown in the process."
At least Gottlieb slowed down the rate of change in some neighborhoods.
"Without a doubt, had it not been for Bill Gottlieb there's a lot of buildings in the West Village and Meatpacking District that would have been torn down and replaced with sort of very generic and forgettable new construction, but instead kind of lived to face another day," Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, told the paper.
For further reading:
Check out Curbed's coverage of the Gottlieb drama here.