LES Synagogue Pursues Removal of Deed Restriction to Redevelop for Residential

Posted on: November 18th, 2019 at 5:06 am by

As reported last month, the Lutowisker Synagogue on the eastern fringe of Delancey Street is headed toward redevelopment. The congregation, which owns the building and has been present on the Lower East Side since 1877, hopes to construct housing atop its house of worship.

The proposal as it stands is to expand the building at 262 Delancey up to the maximum height of eight stories (i.e. 15,136 square-feet of residential space). It will be heard by Community Board 3 this week.

But there are roadblocks in the form of deed restrictions.

The Lutowisker Synagogue has been in this general vicinity since 1877, when it occupied a building on Columbia Street. A century later, the congregation was approached by the City and asked to relocate to its current location for the purposes of a NYCHA housing project that never materialized. (The land left behind was eventually deeded to the Mitchell-Llama development, Masaryk Towers.) The move also allowed the synagogue to purchase the Delancey Street property, albeit with a list of deed restrictions.

According to the application to be heard by Community Board 3 this Wednesday, those impediments are as follows:

  • No building, improvement, fence or structure of any kind is permitted on the southernmost ten feet of the lot;
  • The Owner is responsible for maintaining the sidewalk within that 10 feet of the lot;
  • A pedestrian and utility easement shall exist over and upon the 10 foot wide area mentioned above.
  • Any building erected on the 262 Delancey lot is limited to two stories and a maximum height of twenty-three feet;
  • Use is restricted to synagogue; No part of the building will be put to any business, commercial or industrial use.

If the city approves the removal of these impediments, then a new construction is likely.

Recent Stories

Man Shot Dead After Opening Door to Gunman at Lillian Wald Houses

A man was shot dead inside his apartment in the Lillian Wald Houses Friday night after the suspected killer knocked on his door, police said. The perp entered 691 FDR Drive just before 10:00pm and went to the fourth floor apartment of thirty-year-old Davon Venable. Reports noted that Venable and his father heard a knock […]

Filmmaker to Get ‘High on Ludlow Street’ with New Documentary [INTERVIEW]

One filmmaker is on a quest exhume the history of Ludlow Street with a forthcoming documentary series called High on Ludlow Street. What follows is an interview with Charles Libin, who talks about the so-called “gift of Ludlow,” memories on the block, challenges of making the film, and the current state of his beloved street. […]

Mayor Adams Vetoes Bill to Fine Non-Artists Residents in Upzoned SoHo and NoHo

The SoHo/NoHo Rezoning saga took a new turn last Friday when Mayor Eric Adams vetoed the controversial bill (Intro 2443A). The last-minute legislation, introduced by former Councilmember Chin, would levy fines against residents occupying JLWQA units without official “artist certification.” The odd JLWQA acronym isn’t the call sign of some defunct NYC radio station; it […]

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 […]