The Real Deal New York

Celebrity baker Ron Ben-Israel heads to Garment District

Ex-host of Food Network's "Sweet Genius" takes 38th St. digs

October 31, 2014 04:05PM
By Rich Bockmann

From left: 247 West 38th Street and Ron Ben-Israel

Food Network personality and bakery brainiac Ron Ben-Israel is trading in his manufacturing headquarters in Soho for new Garment District digs.

Ben-Israel, who once hosted the show “Sweet Genius” and appears on several of the cable channel’s other programs, has signed a long-term lease for 4,500 square feet at 247 West 38th Street.

Over the course of 15 years, the professional-dancer-turned-confectioner expanded his footprint three separate times at Zar Property’s 42-44 Greene Street, eventually ending up with 3,600 square feet. About a year ago, he started looking for a larger space, eyeing spots in Brooklyn, Harlem and Midtown.

“We liked it because the Garment District has a lot of great architecture,” Ben-Israel said. “It’s all cement floors, very strong beams. It’s very solid.”

The 13th-floor space has two balconies, three passenger elevators and a large one for freight and bones strong enough to support the gigantic walk-in refrigerator the shop plans to install.

Another benefit is that floor plan is large enough for Ben-Israel to have a showroom where he can host clients.

Level Group’s Ben Getman represented Ben-Israel, while landlord Weiss Realty was represented in-house.

The Garment District has been generating buzz lately with retail tenants such as Grumpy’s Coffee and Urban Outfitters settling in the neighborhood.

The space at 42-44 Greene Street is now listed on CoStar. One thing Ben-Israel said he won’t miss from the old neighborhood is its cobble-stone streets.

“Soho was charming, but we had to install special shock absorbers in the vans to navigate the streets,” he said.

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