A Federal-style row house dating to the 1820s at 355 Grand St. is apparently not long for this world. According to Department of Buildings records, the new owner of the property, home to Flowers Cafe and Vic’s Pizza, plans to replace the historic structure with a new six-story building.
Jennie Lai of Interboro Realty Management purchased 355 Grand St. last December for $4 million. As we reported back in 2011, Joseph Pizzo (a New Jersey-based landlord), listed the property for $4.5 million. He marketed it as a development site, noting that zoning allowed for about 7,000 sq. ft. The current 3200 sq. ft. building includes the two ground floor retail spaces plus two apartments.
The application with the Buildings Department calls for around 2,000 sq. ft. of commercial space and 4500 sq. ft. of residential space. The perimeter wall height would be 85 feet. The architect of record is Brooklyn-based Shiming Tam. The application is listed as “pending.”
Bill Frazer, owner of Flowers Cafe, said it appears he could keep the 10-year-old sandwich shop open until the end of the year. Frazer hasn’t decided how long he’ll stay in the current spot but is looking for a new space elsewhere on the Lower East Side.
355 Grand St. (also known as 51 Essex St.) is a “contributing building” in the National Register’s Lower East Side historic district. That designation, however, does not protect the property from demolition. The building has not been designated by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission.