Changing Hands: 177 Ludlow (Earthmatters Building)
Today we learned that 177 Ludlow Street could have new owners as soon as early August. The 5-story, 15-unit building is currently home to EarthMatters Café and market, which has sold health food at that location since 2001. For the moment, the building still belongs to” 177 Ludlow LLC,” a group headed by Isaac Tapiero, a real estate investor who purchased the building in the mid 1990s and helped start EarthMatters with his nephew and partner, Marco Megira.
Christine Blackburn of the Corcoran Group is helping to manage the sale of the building, which first appeared on the market last year. She said the property is “in contract” to be sold in coming days, explaining that a cash deposit from an interested party had virtually guaranteed the sale. While she said she couldn’t discuss the specific details of the deal, she noted that the buyer had agreed to pay at least $6,250,000, the asking price for the property.
Last week, a separate online listing appeared for the ground-floor commercial space in which EarthMatters operates (rent is $25,000 a month). We phoned the store this morning, but a manager said she knew nothing about plans for EarthMatters to leave the space and told us that the building’s owners were out of the country. If Tapiero aims to sell the building, however, the future of his store is obviously uncertain. A couple of years ago, he told The Lo-Down that the appearance of Whole Foods on the Bowery in 2007 had seriously hurt his business, although things had turned around in more recent times.
As of now, the upper floors of the building contain short-term rental apartments, which can be leased for as few as 30 days. No word yet on what the buyer intends to do with the top floors of the walk-up, but Blackburn said more information will be available after the sale is completed.