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What’s Happening at the Orchard Street “Hell Building?”

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Back in August, we brought you news of the cheerful beautification project underway at 180 Orchard, the stalled condo/hotel project lovingly renamed by Curbed, “the Orchard Street Hell Building.” At the time, LES artist Marco was painting a mural on the side of the boarded up construction site, he said, at the request of the troubled building’s owner. Now, six long years after he broke ground, the owner, Morris Platt, appears to be engaged in another battle with the city to get the project “un-stalled.”

According to architect Remy Issac’s web site, 180 Orchard will one day be a 26-story building with 350 hotel rooms, 25,000 square feet of retail, as well as a restaurant and spa. But a new (old?) plan for a mixed use complex featuring both hotel rooms and apartments appears to have run afoul of New York City’s zoning regulations. We’re told Platt is trying to negotiate some changes with the Department of Buildings. Platt might not be able to proceed without requesting a variance – so we could be seeing his lawyers before the Board of Standards and Appeals and Community Board 3 before long. Complicating matters: new, more restrictive zoning laws that went into effect after the foundation of 180 Orchard had already been poured.

Meanwhile, the plan to downscale 180 Orchard to a one-story retail complex (at least temporarily) is evidently still in place. LES uber-broker Misrahi has not pulled its listing:

13836 sq ft of prime retail space with 23 ft ceilings and 128 ft of frontage on Orchard St (128×87)and 30 ft of frontage on Ludlow st (30×87) The space is situated across the Street from American apparel and the retail space under the Thompson hotel. The Ludlow entrance is next door to Katz deli and across the street from “The Ludlow building”. Other neighbours include The Rivington hotel, Steve Madden, Stanton Social, Schiller’s, Spitzers, Mint Julep, Russ & Daughters, Pianos, Earnest Sewn, Inoteca, Teany, Whole Foods.

We have calls into Platt and Misrahi.

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