The Infamous ‘Rat Castle’ at 179 Ludlow Street Has Been Reactivated

Posted on: April 29th, 2014 at 5:33 am by
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These days it seems like the old guard of long-stalled construction eyesores around the neighborhood are all coming back to life. Like the infamous rat castle at 179 Ludlow Street, rotting away before our very eyes since 2006. The leasing banner affixed to the sidewalk bridge last year was but one clue. Work on the seven-story tumor has officially restarted after prolonged dormancy and red tape.

Just check out the exterior – a new enclosed balcony situation is currently under construction. It’s the first real sign of progress since this bastard appeared in the Lower East Side skyline.

Nearly three years ago, current owner Michael Goldberg, whose company specializes in bailing out busted projects, received the go-ahead from the city to complete the building. His goal was two floors of commercial use totaling 2,880 square-feet, and five 2-BR condo units up above.

DOB permits suggest otherwise. It seems only the ground level will receive the commercial treatment, totaling 1,650 square-feet. That equates to six full-floor condos.

Meanwhile, an onsite rendering shows what the final product might look like. The Kleinmann Group is the architect:

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179 Ludlow was initially started by 2 Funny Guys in March 2006; bankruptcy followed three months later; first-timer Michelangelo Russo then took the reigns for $5.2 million but quickly followed in the footsteps of failure. Turns out, Russo entered the fray with capital funded by Michael Goldberg who makes a career of bailing out busted projects and turning them. Foreclosure followed in March 2010.

The “Rat Castle” nickname was coined by the Village Voice in 2008 due to the terrible infestation at the then-abandoned project.

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