Ben Shaoul’s Magnum Realty is Confirmed as Buyer of Orchard-Houston Block of Real Estate

Posted on: September 2nd, 2014 at 5:33 am by
This image has been archived or removed.

While the city prepared the mass departure for Labor Day, some big news came to light regarding the imminent development of Orchard and East Houston. Rumors of its fate have been circulating since last year, but chatter is now at fever pitch. First, we learned that Katz’s Deli sold off their valuable air rights. Proprietor Jake Dell couldn’t confirm the purchaser, nor for which address, but we can all just read between the lines. That fatty nugget also coincided with the revelation that Taqueria is now scouting two different locations. It won’t be long before the remaining businesses follow suit. Katz’s, however, is safe.

Since breaking the story in December 2013, we had fairly solid intel all along that Ben “Sledgehammer” Shaoul was in contract to purchase the parcels from the Magnano family (which owned and operated Ray’s Pizza) and was buying out the tenants. Well, we can now confirm the truth. Some sleuthing reveals that the principals of the new owner entity – MB/Reec Houston St LLC – are Marc Ravner and Mark Seigel. Marc and Mark are together a direct, traceable link into Magnum Real Estate Group, Shaoul’s company. In fact, Ravner is partner.

This image has been archived or removed.

Bereket with drill front and center, August 2014

Mystery solved. Shaoul will continue his sledge-wielding ways. Give it time.

As for the replacement building, expect a tower of roughly twelve stories. The 2008 rezoning of the Lower East Side limits the heights here to 120 feet (if there’s inclusionary housing). And now presumably armed with Katz’s air rights, a possible cantilever could be in the cards. Unless they found a loophole to make this thing twenty stories.

The aforementioned Magnano family at one point owned and operated more than a dozen Ray’s parlors around the city, and claimed to be the original. The East Houston restaurant was one of them.

This image has been archived or removed.

Prime meat for developers

Recent Stories

Gaia Cafe Planning February Return with New Essex Street Locale

Gaia Italian Cafe, a locals favorite, is gearing up for a return. An early pandemic victim, Gaia shuttered its sub-level operations in the summer of 2020 after nearly a decade on East Houston. Then word came through last July that namesake chef-owner Gaia Bagnasacco signed a lease for the ground floor of 119 Essex Street, […]

‘Be My Baby’ and a Strange 1965 Visit to Parisi Bakery (Ronnie Spector RIP)

Ronnie Spector, the chanteuse who fronted the Ronettes in the 1960s with her signature vocal yearning, died yesterday. She was 78. She passed after “a brief battle with cancer,” according to a statement from her family. In tribute to her life and music, we’re re-publishing the following piece from a few years ago highlighting the […]

The Decimated State of East River Park

It’s full throttle with East River Park demolition. Nothing now stands in the way of the $1.45 billion coastal resiliency project. Tree stumps dot the park from East Houston to Corlears Hook, onetime green space which now resembles the blackened wasteland of a post-apocalyptic novel. In all, some 990 trees are being sawed into submission. […]

How to Help Essex Card Shop Rebuild After Devastating Fire on Avenue A

Monday afternoon, a two-alarm fire ripped through 47 Avenue A, destroying the long-running Essex Card Shop. While the cause of the fire is still under investigation, Saba Aslam, daughter of the shop owner, launched a GoFundMe campaign to help rebuild the business. “Every single corner of this store is burned, damaged, and destroyed,” the appeal proclaims. […]

7-Eleven Delancey Street Kaput After 9 Years

And just like that… There are no longer any 7-Eleven locations on the Lower East Side. The convenience store franchise at 142 Delancey Street – situated in the base of the former Loew’s movie theater – is now dark. Signage is deposed and plywood in place. Permanently closed after nine years in business. The Seward […]