When it comes to stalled construction site 179 Ludlow, we’d believe just about anything. After all, this would-be luxury apartment building, with heated balconies, was (allegedly) being eyed by Madonna back in 2007 as a possible location for her New York Kabbalah Center. It was once owned by feuding and litigious brothers Steven and Peter Salvesen, otherwise known as “Two Funny Guys, LLC.” In later years it became one of the neighborhood’s most exclusive “rat castles.”
Earlier this year, the Post reported that current owner Michael Goldberg intended to finish 179 Ludlow by the end of the summer, turning it into a rental building. Tonight, he appeared before Community Board 3 with a different idea — going back to the original plan — selling condos on the top five floors and leasing the two lower levels to commercial tenants. There’s only one problem. The project, if completed, would be in violation of the Lower East Side’s 2008 rezoning regulations.
Goldberg’s attorney, Jessica Loeser, explained to members of CB3′s land use committee that the 7-story structure would exceed the maximum square footage limits on the lot in question, a sliver located between Katz’s Deli and the Earth Matters’ natural foods store. In order to comply with the zoning requirements, the developer would have to lop off the top one and -one-half floors of the building. It would be cheaper to demo the entire building and start from scratch, she said. Goldberg has applied to the Board of Standards and Appeals for a variance. This evening he sought the community board’s blessing.