Eye on Lower Orchard Street; New Pink Building Owner Plans Residential Development

The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) profiles lower Orchard Street today, noting that a series of real estate deals and smaller entrepreneurial projects are transforming a three block stretch below Grand Street.  The article also includes a few new tidbits about the future of the “Pink Building” and two adjacent properties that were sold recently for $27 million.

orchard street 1

Orchard Street, looking south from Grand Street.

Here’s the gist of the story:

Once home to dozens of garment stores, the three-block stretch of Orchard Street between Grand and Division streets is seeing a flurry of deals spanning from small entrepreneurs renting storefronts to large-scale property sales and development.  The activity in the area, which sits on the border of Chinatown and the Lower East Side, includes a boutique hotel under construction, two large properties being turned into residential and retail spaces and the opening of two more art galleries and Alexander Olch, a men’s tie shop. In addition, owners are looking for tenants for five ground-floor retail spaces on the rental market and three large mixed-use buildings up for sale.

As for the former Ridley Department Store building at the corner of Orchard and Grand Street, and its adjoining properties, the WSJ reports:

Waterbridge Capital and the Jangana family together bought three contiguous properties at 57-63 Orchard St. for $27 million in July and plan to convert them into high-end condominiums and boutiques.

orchard street 2

As you may know, the “Pink Building” is a New York City landmark and – along with its neighbor to the immediate south — it carries garment district zoning.  This means a special permit would be required for residential development.  The third building that was part of the deal (the two story structure in the photo above with the green signage) is, however, primed for redevelopment.   Known as 57 Orchard St., the structure could be demolished and – using air rights (totaling around 73,000 square feet) – replaced with a new mixed-use building.