Team Handling Jarmulowsky Hotel Conversion to Go Before CB3, Landmarks Commission

Jarmulowsky Bank building, 54 Canal St.

Earlier this summer we brought word that the new owner of the Jarmulowsky Bank building was converting it to a boutique hotel.  Ron Castellano (The Forward Building, Hester Street Fair, etc.) and Taavo Somer (Freemans, Peels, etc.) began working on the historic building at 54 Canal/9 Orchard a few months ago. The team is now moving forward with an application to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, a necessary step anytime changes are proposed to a New York City landmark.

As a first step, they will go before Community Board 3’s landmarks subcommittee next month (September 10).  Castellano and Somer are seeking a “certificate of appropriateness” in order to complete renovations on the Jarmulowsky. It entails, according to the community board agenda released today:

(Raising) the parapet, (Installing) new mechanical equipment, convert(ing) existing mechanical room to occupiable space on roof; install(ing) new storefront infill, (installing) new masonry balustrade in existing bay ground floor; install(ing) new balconies at rear (and removing the building’s fire escapes).

Ron Castellano, Taavo Somer Partner in Jarmulowsky Hotel

Jarmulowsky Bank building, 54 Canal Street.

There’s been some talk in the past day or so about the future of the Jarmulowsky Bank building, the beautiful 1912 landmark at 54 Canal Street.  A spokesperson for the Ace Hotels knocked down rumors that the company was involved in a hotel conversion at this location.  Today a source with knowledge of the Jarmulowsky project tells The Lo-Down that the creative team consists solely of Ron Castellano, the developer of The Forward Building, and Taavo Somer, who’s behind Lower East Side restaurants Freemans and Peels.  The source said no national or regional hospitality company is involved; the hotel will be locally owned and operated.

Jarmulowsky Building Sold For $36M; Hotel In the Works

For the last couple of weeks, there have been inklings that the Jarmulowsky Bank building was about to be sold and redeveloped as a boutique hotel. Just last week, Lower East Side BID president Mark Miller suggested as much in his 2012 predictions. Today Roland Li reports in the International Business Times that the building, 54 Canal Street, has in fact sold for $36 million and is “poised to become a hotel.”

New York-based Equity Management sold the landmarked Jarmulowsky to DLJ Real Estate Partners, once a division of Credit Suisse.  Li reported, “Officials for DLJ weren’t immediately available to comment, but sources said it is likely they will convert the building into a hotel.”

Equity Management bought the building for $25 million in 2005.  The Jarmulowsky, generally thought of as the most interesting historic landmark on the Lower East Side after the Forward Building, has been on and off the market for several years. Developers have envisioned a 130 room hotel (with ground floor retail).

It’s our understanding that the new owners are working with a well-known architect with experience restoring landmarked buildings in Lower Manhattan. More to come…