Monday, April 30, 2012

Condo to Rise on Former Ratner's Site off Delancey

The Lower East Side will be getting a new condominium at 100 Norfolk St., just north of Delancey Street on the site owned by Ratner's, the famous kosher dairy restaurant that closed in 2002.  The dilapidated 7,000-square-foot building on the site will be razed, and soon sprout an ultra-modern condominium.

 The 7,000-square-foot building presently on the site was owned by Ratner's which used it for the company's offices and refrigerators. When Ratner's closed, the Norfolk building became obsolete. A previous deal for the property fell through because the buyer was unable to line up a needed partner and financing. At another point there was talk of a hotel rising on the site.

Recently, the property finally found an all-cash buyer, who paid $8.8 million. Real estate on the  The Lower East Side is now hot, so hot that the purchase price was 6% above the asking level. According to public records, the new owner is Brooklyn-based Urban-Scape.

The new owner will demolish the present structure and replace it with a residential development of up to 44,000 square feet.

One reason why it took so long to sell 100 Norfolk St. is because it was located in a part of the Lower East Side that was rezoned in 2008 to limit building heights to 120 feet. The restriction made the property a tougher sell. The new owner did a lot of leg work, and because it owns adjoining parcels, was able to work out a way to transfer air rights to the new development.

Prior to the area's rezoning, Blue, a 16-story, 32-unit condo building designed by Bernard Tschumi was erected across the street at 105 Norfolk St. That project, which was criticized by the community for its size, is on the former site of Ratner's parking lot.
Ironically, 100 Norfolk St. is where Blue had its sales office and showroom. Apartments at Blue have sold for an average of $1,172 per square foot, despite the many neighbors who consider the building an eyesore.