With Essex Crossing Looming, ‘Developer’s Dream’ 75 Essex Street Ups the Ask to $39M

Posted on: January 21st, 2015 at 5:00 am by
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The big neighborhood news of late is the drop-load of renderings for Phase 1 of the Essex Crossing mega-project. Just like that, ten Lower East Side parcels, some previously vacant, will be completely redeveloped in the next decade.

We had it on good authority in 2014 that Taconic Partners – part of the Delancey Street Associates consortium behind Essex Crossing – was interested in acquiring 75 Essex Street as part of the overall development. Neighbors and preservationists feared the worst, that the non-landmarked structure might fall during a “midnight job.” Whatever deal or discussion may have transpired seems to have fizzled, though. Last week we learned that the five-story Eastern Dispensary Building is not part of the overall plans for SPURA Site 1. But longtime owner Shalom Eisner will most likely benefit from it.

Indeed, 75 Essex is no stranger to the open market. The should-be landmark first appeared for sale in 2010 for $18 million, then increased by $3 million three years later. Despite urgent pleas of protection from preservation groups and Community Board 3, the Landmarks Preservation Commission ultimately decided to deny an official designation. Immediately thereafter, the property was listed yet again, this time for a whopping $30 million.

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Site 1 of Essex Crossing, 75 Essex in background

Now with development of Site 1 at its back – which includes the Warhol Museum and basement bowling alley – the price tag has headed northward. Again. According to the updated real estate listing (repped by Jan Sasson’s E Property Group), Mr. Eisner seeks $39 million for the so-called “developer’s dream.” That sum would afford the potential buyer/developer to build into 31,776 square-feet of air rights. As for interest in the property, we’re told that there’s been “a ton,” including “several educational, and art foundations, who are in love with the architecture, as well as national retail who see it as a potential flagship location.”

This is another flip-flop for Eisner, who had considered developing the building into condos himself back when landmarking was still on the table.

You can read an in-depth history of the Eastern Dispensary building here.

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