The restoration of of the Jarmulowsky Bank Building at 54 Canal St. is a painstaking process. But the conversion of the city landmark to a boutique hotel is continuing. Last night, the project took another small step forward as Community Board 3′s transportation committee signed off on a plan to create a new sidewalk alongside the 12-story, 1912 tower.
Architect Ron Castellano is planning to replace the standard cement sidewalk with decorative glass tiles that will provide some light in the basement of the new hotel. You’ve probably seen similar bricks in Soho, along Broadway. Castellano said it’s necessary to rebuild the vaults, which are in very bad condition, so much of the foundation of the building is getting a makeover. He’ll be taking the proposal to the Public Design Commission along with other city agencies.
The restoration of the Jarmulowsky Bank building is one step closer to reality this afternoon. Earlier today the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the plans, which include rooftop modifications but are mostly aimed at returning the structure to its original 1912 glory. The Jarmulowsky, destined to become a boutique hotel, is owned by DLJ Real Estate Partners.
Ron Castellano, a Lower East Side preservation architect, helped lead the successful effort to protect the building in 2009. Now he and restaurant operator Taavo Somer are handling the restoration project for the owners. In a presentation before the commission, Castellano explained what will be involved in the huge overhaul of a building that has been neglected for many years.
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:
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.
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…