Volume 21, Number 38 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | January 30 - February 5, 2009
By Patrick Hedlund
A trio of Tribeca buildings with an asking price of nearly $10 million recently hit the market on West Broadway.
Massey Knakal Realty Services has been retained to sell the three buildings at 171-177 West Broadway, at Worth St., totaling approximately 12,700 square feet, for $9.95 million.
The five-story building at 171-173 West Broadway contains about 6,565 square feet, with four floors of offices and a ground-floor retail tenant. The landmark four-story building at 175 West Broadway has about 2,180 square feet, with more than 500 square feet of air rights, and can be converted to a townhouse or mixed-use building with its current ground-floor retail. The three-story building at 177 West Broadway contains about 3,900 square feet and 2,600 square feet of air rights, with ground-floor retail and two office tenants.
The company has also been tasked with unloading 18-20 Thomas St. in Tribeca, as well as the landmark three-unit retail condominium Bouwerie Lane Theater Building at 54 Bond St., at the corner of the Bowery. Massey Knakal recently sold a five-story walk-up loft building at 464 Greenwich St. in Tribeca in an all-cash transaction valued at $5.5 million.
“I am starting to see real opportunities in the market, especially in the retail sector.” Massey Knakal partner James Nelson said in a statement. “This market is an opportunity for investors, as many buyers are still waiting on the sidelines.”
43 MacDougal movement
The city has finally stepped in regarding the worsening conditions at 43 MacDougal St., the Soho building that has been left in disrepair for decades, as the derelict property continues to suffer from vandalism and owner neglect.
The vacant three-story building, located at the corner of King St. in the Charlton-King-Vandam Historic District, had its window broken, a fire escape pulled down to the street and excrement smeared across the property’s front earlier this month. In response, the Greenwich Village Society of Historic Preservation contacted various city agencies to take action, getting the Department of Housing, Preservation and Development to make the necessary repairs.
The society also followed up with an inquiry to the Landmarks Preservation Commission about the festering problems, with L.P.C. responding that it would begin fining the owner $5,000 per month for failure to reply to repeated violations.
“If the owner continues to be nonresponsive, litigation may be commenced to compel repairs to be made,” the commission stated in its letter.
G.V.S.H.P. — which has also noted the building’s rodent problem and the accumulating refuse outside it — is now pushing L.P.C. to pursue a “demolition by neglect” case against the owner that would result in court-ordered repairs.
“The problem with the tack being taken by the city is it requires the situation to get unbearably and untenably bad before they take serious action,” said Andrew Berman, the society’s executive director, who likened the court proceeding to the previous one at the East Village’s Skidmore House. “Unlike with the Skidmore House, where there were no adjacent properties to suffer from the deteriorating conditions, 43 MacDougal shares party walls with neighboring buildings, and is directly across the street from a school. We therefore need the city to take even more decisive action than they did with Skidmore,” Berman stressed.
L.P.C.’s allusion to a “demolition by neglect” consideration marks “definitely the most encouraging” reaction from a city agency to date, Berman told Mixed Use, although the city would need to move quickly since the building has progressively deteriorated.
“It feels somewhat Sisyphean at the moment,” Berman noted of his organization’s efforts, “but I’m confident that we’re going to get there.”
According to neighbors who are familiar with the building’s owners — an elderly husband and wife — the landlords might be too out of touch with the situation to willingly address the issue.
“I don’t think these owners are going to do it on their own or are capable of doing it on their own,” Berman added.
Pier 57 public hearing
The people will have a chance to weigh in on the newest proposals for the development of Pier 57 next month at the Hudson River Park Trust’s first public hearing regarding the project.
The Trust, in conjunction with the Hudson River Park Advisory Council and Chelsea’s Community Board 4, will present the three development teams’ proposals for the pier, located off W. 15th St., at the Feb. 12 hearing. The trio of designs — from The Related Companies, Youngwoo and Associates and a partnership between the Durst Organization and C&K Properties — will be displayed and detailed by the teams before the public portion of the hearing.
The Trust issued a request for proposals, or R.F.P., last June and unveiled the winning bids in November after an earlier proposal by the Witkoff/Cipriani Group to develop the pier sunk in late 2007.
The hearing will be held on Thurs., Feb. 12, starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Hudson Guild Fulton Center, at 119 Ninth Ave. between 17th and 18th Sts. The agenda includes an informal display of the proposals from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.; introductions and overviews from 6:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.; presentations by the development teams from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and the public hearing from 7:30 p.m. on.