Cedar Tavern building readies for condo sales

By Lauren Elkies | December 26, 2007 04:39PM

Thirteen months after the renowned Cedar Tavern in Greenwich Village
shuttered its doors to make way for construction of condominiums above,
pre-marketing is slated to commence on a street bustling with new
development.

In about a month or month and a half, Michael Diliberto, the bar owner
and developer of 82 University Place at 11th Street, hopes to acquire
the necessary approval from the attorney general’s office to give the
project a test-run on the market. Plans will be submitted for approval
to the state a few months later, Diliberto said.

A first-time developer, Diliberto is converting the two-story pub into
a nine-story condominium, with prices starting at $1.7 million, said
the project’s marketer, Tamir Shemesh, managing director at Prudential
Douglas Elliman. Construction began a year ago and is almost completed.

The 25-foot by 100-foot lot will have one two-bedroom unit per floor up
to the seventh floor and a three-bedroom duplex penthouse above. The
two-bedrooms will average 1,200 square feet and the duplex will be
around 2,000 square feet. Garth Hayden is the architect. Diliberto
hopes for a spring 2008 move-in date.

Diliberto and his late older brother Joe initially envisioned condos on
top of the Cedar Tavern, but plans to reopen the pub were abandoned
when Joe was diagnosed with fatal cancer and died two months ago. The
bar closed shortly afterwards, on the day after Thanksgiving 2006.

“It’s a difficult business and I didn’t want to do it without him,” Diliberto said.

The bar opened at the current location in 1963. Jackson Pollock, Willem
de Kooning and Jack Kerouac frequented the bar, but more often at its
previous incarnation at 24 University Place, opened by Diliberto’s
father and uncle opened in the 1950s.

Diliberto said the name of the condo would likely be its address, with no reference to the Cedar Tavern.

“Cedar is past. Cedar is history. It means something to me. It doesn’t mean something to the next generation,” Diliberto said.

The Cedar Tavern condo is in “a great location,” Shemesh said, because
of its proximity to New York University and Union Square. Marketing of
the project will not target college students, however. In an effort to
maximize space and money, the developer opted to build two-bedroom
units and the three-bedroom duplex. Buyers will likely include single
people, young couples, and couples with one child, Shemesh said.

Shemesh is working on another residential deal down on University Place
— which runs from 8th to 14th streets — but the project is in its
infancy and he asked that the address not be published.

“It’s the epicenter of Greenwich Village,” Shemesh said.

Nearby, Eastern Consolidated negotiated an $110 million deal last week
for the prewar, Emery Roth-designed Devonshire House at 28 East 10th
Street, according to Eric Anton, an executive director and principal at
Eastern Consolidated. The buyer is converting the rental building into
a condominium.

Shemesh said that all of the activity on the six-block stretch of University Place is “just a coincidence.”