New Owner of Pink Building Plans Residential Conversion

This past summer, the former Ridley Department Store buildings at Orchard and Grand streets were sold for $27 million.  Now we’re starting to see signs of the iconic property’s future.

The former Ridley Department store property is located at Grand and Orchard streets.

The former Ridley Department store property is located at Grand and Orchard streets.

Waterbridge Capital and a Great Neck-based company called Continental Worsteds picked up the clustered buildings — 57 Orchard St., 59-63 Orchard St. and 319 Grand St. — for $27 million.  As Crain’s reported at the time, the new owners made the acquisition with an “eye toward converting (the buildings’) 11,200 square feet of ground floor retail space into high-end fashion boutiques and shops.”

In the past few days, the companies have filed documents with the Buildings Department, laying the groundwork for the conversion of the building to a high end retail and residential complex. The application from Peachy Construction indicates that they’ll be “performing code compliance work for conversion to mixed residential and commercial use” and that “partitions, doors, ceilings, finishes, plumbing, heating, mechanical (and) ventilation” will be installed.

In 2012, the Landmarks Preservation Commission protected 319-321 Grand St., a 1886 cast iron building that was home to New York’s largest department store until 1901. The five-story landmarked property as well as 59 Orchard St. both carry garment district zoning, meaning a special permit is required for residential development.

Jackie Jangana, owner of Continental Worsteds, specializes in converting old commercial buildings to condos (the Real Deal detailed this part of the story over the summer).  At 46 Lispenard St., lofts in a converted cast iron building she developed started at $2.7 million.  Those apartments were sold by celebrity broker Fredrik Eklund.

The commercial tenants in the Grand Street building all have short-term leases or cancellation clauses in their leases. We’ll be keeping a close eye on what develops here over the next several months — but it’s a safe bet the old-school clothing stores and printing shops now occupying the building are not part of the long-term vision.