With Redevelopment Stalled, Provident Loan Society Building Hits Market for $20M

Posted on: July 30th, 2018 at 4:34 am by

The bank is for sale.

Despite the city’s approval of redevelopment last December, the Provident Loan Society building on East Houston Street is now on the chopping block. Longtime owners Elsa and Dunnie Lai, who purchased the centenary structure nearly thirty years ago, are now looking to sell. Price sought for the non-landmarked landmark is a hefty $20 million.

Cushman & Wakefield is the brokerage of record, and currently advertises the property as a “prime development opportunity.” And calls attention to those plans as opportunity in its marketing materials.

Indeed, its placement on the open market follows roughly eight months after the Department of Buildings approved the years-in-the-making proposal for a mixed-use, twelve-story protrusion from 225 East Houston. This despite prior grassroots support to urge protection of the century-old structure, and secure the ever-elusive landmark designation.

Rendering by Rogers Partners Architects

The approved layout, as it stands, calls for 38 rental apartments, plus several recreational terraces and fitness rooms for tenants, all spread across more than 35,000 square-feet of floor area. There is also bicycle storage with twelve spaces and commercial retail, presumably on the ground floor (6,800 square-feet). Floors eight through twelve cantilever over the Mercury Lounge, made possible thanks to the acquisition of 9,238 square-feet of air rights from that property, as first reported here in January 2015.

The Provident Loan Society financial institution erected the Classical Revival-style building in 1912. It’s apparently the most intact of the dozen remaining former bank branches dotting the city. During its latter years, the building was the residence-studio of Jasper Johns (whose work inspired the renderings) and a string of clubs including Manhattan Gentlemen’s Club (strip club), a goth nightclub known as Chaos, The Bank, and Element.

Recent Stories

Demolition Begins at Fire-Stricken Dim Sum Palace Building in Chinatown

Demolition started this week at 6 Chatham Square, which, until this month, housed neighborhood favorite Dim Sum Palace. Early morning May 1, a fire in the kitchen spread throughout the building, triggering a five-alarm response from the fire department. All told, five firefighters were injured battling the inferno over several hours. And according to Red […]

Eldridge Street Development Sells for $19.24M

A major real estate deal to report on Eldridge Street. It took three years, but the eight-story mixed-use building at 165 Eldridge traded last week for $19.25 million. Just under the initial 2019 asking price of $21 million. Buyer of record is Meng Lee and Karim Elsayyad of FREO Management. The transaction is not yet […]

The ‘Barrier Reefs’ Coming to Clinton Street Bike Lane

The Department of Transportation has chosen a winner to decorate the traffic barrier protecting the Clinton Street bike line. The city agency awarded artist Alison Cynamon as part of the ongoing Barrier Beautification mural project. The concrete slab runs from Delancey Street to South Street; an 840-foot stretch with roughly 1,980 square-feet of canvas to […]

Redlining the LES: How Discriminatory Lending Policies Solidified Pre-Existing Inequalities

The following was written by Anna Sargeantson. All photos courtesy of Anna Sargeantson, except where otherwise noted. Home to dimly lit restaurants and bars frequented by NYU students and young professionals, the Lower East Side remains in many ways the epitome of New York City’s youthful heart. Under the surface, though, the neighborhood has historically […]

Ed Higgins Gets ‘Mail Art’ Retrospective at Van Der Plas Gallery on Orchard Street

Fresh off featuring his art in Ludlow Coffee Supply, the Van Der Plas Gallery of Orchard Street is now dedicating a full artist retrospective to the late Ed Higgins. Higgins, known as a pillar of the “Rivington School” movement in the 1980s Lower East Side, and for his unique “Mail Art,” died last December at […]