Construction Begins on 30-Story Development at Beth Hamedrash Hagadol Site

Posted on: January 26th, 2021 at 5:00 am by

To stand in the intersection of Broome and Suffolk Streets is a lesson in claustrophobia. A canyon of ten-foot plywood dwarfing those who pass. All thanks to dueling developments – ongoing Essex Crossing, plus a newcomer across the way.

That’s right, the gargantuan development replacing the burned-down Beth Hamedrash Hagadol – dubbed GoBroome – is now officially underway. The $162 million construction loan secured last month certainly paved the way.

As previously reported, the site will sprout two towering buildings. This first phase to see action is 55 Suffolk Street. It’s a thirty-story beast with 378 apartments, one-quarter of which are considered “permanently affordable.” The adjoining affordable development at 64 Norfolk Street is slated to rise sixteen stories, and follow sometime in Spring 2021.

Co-developed by Chinese-American Planning Council nonprofit and the Gotham Organization, the overall project is composed of nearly 520,000 square-feet, spread across 493 apartments, commercial retail, and community facilities. Of the residential tally, 209 residences are earmarked affordable housing (115 for seniors). There is also a 4,000 square-foot commercial condo for Beth Hamedrash Hagodol.

Photo: Dattner Architects

Beth Hamedrash Hagodol was the first American congregation established by immigrants from the Russian Empire, and was the oldest Russian Orthodox house of worship in the country. The historic Gothic Revival structure it occupied was built in 1850 as a Baptist church and purchased by the shul in 1885 for $45,000 (about $1.2 million today). In its 1967 landmark designation, the LPC found that “Beth Hamedrash Hagadol Synagogue has a special character, special historical and aesthetic interest, and value as part of the development, heritage and cultural characteristics of New York City.”

In May 2017, a teenaged arsonist torched the landmark. The three-alarm fire was absolute in its destruction.

December 2017

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 […]