Announcements about pop-up plant stores aren’t usually delivered by high-powered lobbying and PR firms. But that’s exactly what we got over the weekend in the form of a press release announcing the return of the Cactus Store, a summer happening at 5 Essex St.
The site, next door to the long-shuttered M.Schames & Son paint store, is owned by DLJ Real Estate, the deep-pocketed firm turning the old Jarmulowsky Bank Building at 9 Orchard St. into a boutique hotel.
The press release from Geto & de Milly, included a quote from DLJ’s managing partner, Andy Rifkin, saying, “We are happy to support the Cactus Store for a second summer of fun and education… Bringing life, excitement, and unique experiences are important elements of our commitment to the neighborhood. We respect this community and its history and are committed to contributing positively to its culture and its future, and we expect our hotel at 9 Orchard will have a similar positive impact.”
The Cactus Store, based in the Los Angeles-area, first popped up on Essex Street last summer. DLJ Real Estate has owned the vacant lot, as well as the former Schames building, since 2012. The firm may eventually develop the site, or sell it, but for another summer at least, part of the property has been activated as an unexpected local green space. There was an opening night party Friday evening. During the summer, the store will be open Tuesday-Sunday from 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
The Jarmulowsky property was purchased in 2011 by DLJ for $33 million. The city landmark has been undergoing a painstaking and incredibly lengthy restoration, including the recreation of a 50-foot-high domed spire on the top of the building.
The developers are due back at Community Board 3’s Landmarks Committee June 18, where they will be going over an “amended Certificate of Appropriateness” that’s is undergoing review by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.