Former First Roumanian Synagogue Sells to Brazilian Developer

70 Hester St.

70 Hester St.

A synagogue building dating to 1860 is changing hands for $5.9 million. Commercial Observer reports that Brazilian developer Eduardo de Souza Ramos of Cerfco Participações is the new owner of a building that once housed the First Roumanian-American Congregation.

Until late 2012, the property at 70 Hester St. was in the hands of artists Thomas Nozkowski and Joyce Robins. Their son, Casimir Nozkowski, made a documentary film about the historic structure. Christine Svenningsen of CSC Landscape Holdings paid $3.7 million for the unique three-story tenement in December of 2012. A ground-floor cafe has been built out but not yet leased.

De Souza Ramos’s son will be using the second floor, which features a wraparound balcony, as a recording studio. According to Commercial Observer, the other spaces will be leased out.

The building is about 4800 square feet but could be built to more than 11,000 square feet under current zoning. The property is not a city landmark. At one time, 70 Hester St. was a distillery (during Prohibition) and a raincoat and shower curtain factory.