Cogswell Realty Seeks to Remove Floors From Former Streit’s Matzo Factory Buildings

148-154 Rivington St.

148-154 Rivington St.

The developer who bought the former Streit’s Matzo Factory buildings has filed documents with the Department of Buildings to remove several floors from the properties.

DNA Info first noticed the filings last night from Cogswell Realty, which purchased 148-154 Rivington St. earlier this year for $30.5 million. According to work permit application, the firm seeks to “remove the upper floors to eliminate a non-conforming use and lower the existing buildings to the first floor level and renovate (the) cellar and first floor.” The properties would go from about 48,000 sq. ft. to 10,219 sq. ft.

The filing raises as many questions as it answers. Cogswell obviously didn’t buy a $30 million property in order to downsize it. In July, Curbed heard from a tipster that:

…the developer (was) very close to a deal with neighbors on Suffolk Street—most likely the 48-unit Suffolk Homes townhome-style condominium that is immediately south of the matzo factory—to buy more than 14,000 square feet of air rights. The cost? About $2.7 million. An email sent to homeowners says that 85 percent of them must approve the sale, but the developer apparently plans to go ahead with the smaller version of the project if the deal doesn’t close by August 30.

Here's a diagram that accompanied the story in Curbed three months ago.

Here’s a diagram that accompanied the story in Curbed three months ago.

Illustrations sent to homeowners showed versions of the new residential development making use of extra air rights and without those air rights. What’s emerged in public records so far is obviously a good deal smaller than either plan. Gluck+, an architectural firm known for modular construction, prepared the early diagrams. Gluck+ is listed as the applicant of record in the Buildings Department filing.

Streit’s closed its Lower East Side matzo factory this year after 90 years in the neighborhood.