Wednesday, May 1, 2024

On Avenue B, a there-goes-the-neighborhood building sells for $43 million

Photo by Stacie Joy 

The Villager, the 6-story apartment building that anchors the NW corner of Avenue B and Second Street, has a new owner. 

According to TradedNY, Skyline Developers sold the 61-unit complex at 194 E. Second St. to Benchmark Real Estate Group for $43 million. 

The building's completion in 1997 was seen by some as an (another) end-of-an-era/there-goes-the-neighborhood moment. (In reporting on the sale this week, Crain's called this a "Neighborhood-defining East Village rental.") 

Previously, this corner was home to a gas station... shooting gallery ... and then, for a 10-year run, The Gas Station, aka Art Gallery Space 2B (or Space 2B Art Yard), a freewheeling arts and events space.

Per the Times:
For 10 years, the Gas Station, with its towering sculpture built from discards ranging from a 1970 Plymouth Valiant to department store mannequins to television sets, has been a symbol of the Lower East Side's Bohemian ways and artistic resolve.
Alex at Flaming Pablum has written about the Gas Station and this part of its history:
The Gas Station is probably most notorious for being the site of the final, calamitous performance by G.G. Allin & the Murder Junkies. After the show in question ended in a riot (not an atypical situation for the Geeg), Allin tromped off into the East Village afternoon with some new friends, only to overdose on smack later that evening, undermining his oft-stated intention to kill himself onstage.
The Gas Station was cleared out in 1996.
An aerial view of 2B by LeoLondon from 1993.


XTC said...

Now this is the real article of hardcore LES creativity and Outsider Art pre gentrification. Talented group of metal sculptors, notably Linus Correggio, who transformed found metal and trash into amazing works of art. The Gas Station itself was one gigantic piece of installation art. HOWL should do an exhibition of this group of artists, referred to as the Rivington School, along with the massive Junk Tower that occupied the 6B Garden for many years, truly a work of obsessive durational art.

Liam R said...

Damn, I may be a YIMBY, but as a neighbor, the gas station looks way cooler than that generic-ass '97 building.