With Lawsuits Settled, 49 East Houston Street Returns to Market for About $20M

Posted on: April 5th, 2017 at 9:34 am by


When the plywood boards came down last week, it was a sure sign of revival for 49 East Houston Street. The vacant lot lay follow for nine years due to a perfect storm of economic turmoil and subsequent litigation.

Now, former building owner Steve Stollman, who sold the property to the investors Michael Hirtenstein and Sean Largotta in 2008 with the understanding of equity in the new project, tells us that the legal wrangling is apparently settled. He had sued the duo three years ago for about $9 million, claiming he was financially damaged because nothing was built.

“The settlement calls for me to sell the property and if I can get enough we share the proceeds,” Stollman quips. “Otherwise he gets to pay me off and get rid of me.”

“Since the last 9 years have brought a lot of spectacular development in Nolita and since this is one of the last blank spots in the vicinity, the price will 3 or 4 times what it was back in 2008,” Stollman tells us.

As such, Stollman is trying for the realm of $20 million, and believes the proximity to the Puck Building – with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s penthouse – will generate enough interest from “around the globe.”


Now that the new perimeter fence is built, Stollman is paying tribute to the rich history of the block with a graphic display highlighting well-known characters. For instance, Nikola Tesla, who invented alternating current and remote controls, worked in a laboratory across the street. (Before its demise nine years ago, 49 East Houston was a one-story structure built in the 19th century.) The pseudo-exhibit is called “The Mulberry Street Gang.”

Stollman was a fixture on the block for years before selling out. In this storefront, he sold bars and classic automat machines. But the space also doubled as a haven for bicycle activists – Time’s Up and Critical Mass.

Recent Stories

Eighteen-Story ‘Moxy’ Hotel Woos its Bowery Neighbors

Moxy is meeting the neighbors, currently amidst the requisite charm offensive ahead of its new hotel debut on the Bowery. The superstructure at 151 Bowery – construction of which had been on pause during the initial phase of the pandemic – topped out last October and now sits at eighteen stories. Joining the sky-high company […]

Another Lower East Side Crab Shack Shutters

It’s a crisis of crab cakes on the Lower East Side. In an apparent coincidence, two dedicated crab shacks – both located within a few blocks of one another – closed just days apart this month. As previously reported, Crab Du Jour closed down its franchise at Grand and Suffolk Streets within the last couple […]

A Show of Strength and Mourning As NYPD Responds to Domestic Dispute Call on Elizabeth Street in Little Italy

A man armed with a knife threatened his family in an Elizabeth Street apartment, then barricaded himself, cops said. At approximately 12:30pm on Monday, sources said the assailant menaced his family inside 239 Elizabeth – allegedly with a knife – then barricaded inside another room. Officers from the 5th Precinct arrived in good time, and entered the […]

Sheldon Silver, Disgraced Assembly Speaker from LES, Dies at 77

Sheldon Silver, the disgraced powerhouse of the New York State Assembly, and native Lower East Sider, whose career was toppled by a 2015 corruption conviction, died yesterday. He was 77. According to the New York Times, Silver, who maintained a residence at Hillman Houses, had been imprisoned at Devens Federal Medical Center in Ayer, Massachusetts. […]

Cops: Robbers Entered Juice Press through Rivington Hotel Basement

Brazen robbers used the basement of the Hotel on Rivington to hit the Juice Press location next door, cops said. Police sources say that bandits entered the Hotel on Rivington shortly before 6:00am the morning of January 19. Gaining access to the basement, the perps then used the passageway to sneak into the adjacent Juice […]