Some big news from Katz’s Deli this morning. Co-owner Jake Dell just sent along word that the legendary restaurant at the corner of East Houston and Ludlow streets has “a deal in place for the sale of (its) air rights.” Here’s a bit more detail from Dell:
The most important thing is that the future of Katz’s is secure — at the end of the day, no developer can ever come in and knock us down to put in a high rise. At no point will anyone value the corner of Houston and Ludlow for anything other than Katz’s Delicatessen. A year after our 125th anniversary, this will help ensure that we can see our 150th, and hopefully many more to come.
More to come as soon as we learn more information. Dell said details of the deal cannot be disclosed, at least not right now.
UPDATE 11:19 a.m. A few (very few) details based on a phone conversation with Jake Dell. We asked what kind of deal had been made with the mystery buyer — Is it possible that the current single-story structure will be demolished and replaced with a new tower (with Katz’s on the ground floor)? — Or have the air rights been purchased so that they can be transferred to an adjacent lot?
Dell said he could not answer the question directly, but added that, no matter what happens, Katz’s would operate continuously and would “not be closed for a single day.” In the past couple of weeks, rumors have been circulating about a possible sale of the Lower East Side institution.
Dell said he decided to go public now to ease concerns that the restaurant’s future could be in doubt. Once the sale hits public records, the Dell family will presumably be able to discuss the future in more detail. Dell said all of the profits from the sale would be plowed back into the business.