13-Story Residential Building Planned at East Houston and Ridge Streets

327-329 East Houston St.

Big changes are coming to this empty lot at East Houston and Ridge streets.  Last summer, we reported that that four parcels (327-329 East Houston, 331 East Houston, 163 Ridge Street) were sold by the estate of William Gottlieb for $12.4 million.  Now the owner has surfaced and is detailing plans for a 13 story, 78-unit residential complex on the development site.

Representatives from Halpern Real Estate Ventures will go before Community Board 3’s land use committee Tuesday, Feb. 5 to outline the proposal for the rental complex.  The team is seeking to enter the city’s inclusionary housing program, which permits developers to build bigger buildings than normally would be allowed in exchange for adding a certain number of affordable apartments to their projects. In this case, 16 of the 78 units would enter the affordable housing program (5 studios, 8 one bedrooms, 3 two bedrooms).  The developer is not seeking any city subsidy.

Galleries Continue to Bloom on the L.E.S.

Garis & Hahn Gallery Directors Mary Garis and Sophie Hahn with Andrea Pemberton who curated their inaugural show, “After the Fall,” which opened on January 11th.

As has been mentioned, the burgeoning art gallery scene on the L.E.S. is not showing any signs of slowing down — if anything, it feels like it’s speeding up. Three new arrivals – Garis & Hahn (263 Bowery), Shin Gallery (322 Grand St.) and Sasha Wolf Gallery (70 Orchard St.) have opened their doors in the last month.  We spoke with the newcomers at Garis & Hahn, as they prepared to open their inaugural show last week. The show, “After the Fall,” features photography by seven Yale School of Fine Art MFAs.

Co-directors Mary Garis and Sophie Hahn met in graduate school at Christie’s, here in New York. They were both working in the art world and decided they wanted to start their own gallery about a year ago.  Garis said they always knew they wanted to be on the L.E.S.; they didn’t even consider Chelsea.  “We wanted to do something fresher and more contemporary. And we’re interested in fostering emerging young artists,” she said.  “What’s going on down here on the Lower East Side is so cutting edge and exciting.”

Chinatown Jewelry Week Kicks Off February 1

Organizers and jewelry store owners held a news conference in Chinatown today.

There was a news conference this afternoon to announce the first-ever Chinatown Jewelry Week.  It will be held Feb. 1-14, coinciding with Chinese New Year and the lead-up to Valentine’s Day. The event, organized by Julie Huang of Kaimen Company, will offer special deals and promotions from participating jewelry stores. Last year, Huang put together Chinatown Restaurant Week.

At today’s news conference, City Council member Margaret Chin said she supports the event, as a way to attract new shoppers to Chinatown. The jewelry district, Manhattan’s oldest, Chin said, “has been our secret and now we’re going to share it with everyone.”

Click here for a complete list of the jewelers who will be involved.


LES Bites: Bowery Station. Pig & Khao, Silva’s Dry-Aged Steaks

Bowery Station, 168 Bowery. Photo via Open House.

Here’s a look at some recent LES-related food headlines:

  • Thrillist talks up the new pop up dinners at Bowery Station. BTW, this week’s extravaganza is all sold out.
  • The New Yorker says “charismatic food is emerging from the kitchen” at L’Apicio, the pasta-centric restaurant on a tragically-suburban-like stretch of East 1st Street.


Open House Sunday to Kick Off Winter/Spring Classes at Abrons Arts Center

Robert La Fosse.

The Abrons Arts Center is hosting an open house on Sunday to kick off the winter/spring class schedule.  You’ll have the chance to meet Robert La Fosse, Abrons’ new director of education.  He comes to the Lower East Side with impressive credentials. la Fosse was formerly Principal Dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, as well as Principal Dancer at the New York City Ballet.

On Sunday there will be a variety of special performances, dance and art workshops, t-shirt silkscreening and building tours.  Food will be served in the lobby area.  The open house takes place at 466 Grand St. from 2-4 p.m.

For more information about Abrons classes, check out their web site.


Morning Reads: Beating Suspects Guilty, Chinatown Bus Driver Sentenced, Celebrating the Slipper Room

A graphic videotape helps lead to the convictions of four in a 2010 Lower East Side beating (Post).

The driver of a Chinatown-bound bus that crashed on I-95, killing four, is sentenced to six years in prison. But an investigation shows there are still major safety gaps in the interstate bus industry (Charlotte Observer).

The new Slipper Room “resembles a more inclusive version of ‘The Box.’” (NYT)

Kids get to draw on the walls at the Lehmann Maupin Gallery (NYM).

This weekend you can help the Theater for the New City burn its mortgage (EV Grieve).


Good Morning!

ConEd - Stuyvesant Cove

Photo by Joel Raskin.

The cold snap continues. Partly cloudy and windy today with a high of 25.   We’ll start to see some warming by the weekend and into next week.

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