There’s some news today about a controversial redevelopment project that pitted neighborhood preservationists against City Council member Margaret Chin and a Chinatown property owner.
According to the Real Deal, a new building at 135 Bowery has been sold for 16.2 million to Caspi Development and RWN Real Estate Partners, two firms intent on turning the Bowery into a tech startup corridor. More from the story:
Westchester-based Caspi already owns a nearby property at 161 Bowery, which it bought last year for $12.75 million, renovated and leased out to tech companies including messaging company Kik Interactive. Josh Caspi, the firm’s principal, said strong demand for office space there spurred his decision to buy another building. Through RWN, private equity billionaire and Apollo Global Management co-founder Marc Rowan now has a stake in the Bowery’s office market. The company, headed by Ari Shalam, was set up to invest Rowan’s private wealth.
In 2011, the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to designate a 194 year-old federal row house at 135 Bowery. While Council member Chin initially supported the designation, she changed her mind after speaking with executives at First American International Bank, the property owner. The City Council then overturned the Landmark Commission’s decision. The row house was later demolished, an 8-story 17,000 sq. ft. building going up in its place.
Last year, First American’s Patrick Lau told The Lo-Down the new owner would be required to set aside the third floor for use as a community facility, with rents set 20% below market prices in perpetuity. This provision is supposed to be written into the deed. We’ll be checking to see if this is something that actually happened.
The property had been listed for $20 million.