Controversial landlord Ben Shaoul continues to expand his empire south. The owner of an estimated 40 properties in the East Village, Shaoul’s Magnum Real Estate bought three buildings on the Lower East Side earlier this summer for $16.5 million, Lo-Down NY reported. The properties are a trio of five-story walk-up apartment buildings at 163, 165 and 167 Ludlow Street, between Stanton and East Houston streets, that each contain between 15 and 20 units and ground-floor commercial spaces.
The buildings were one half of a six-property portfolio being marketed by Michael Besen and Matthew Slonim of Besen & Associates for an asking price of $35 million. The portfolio also included 43 Clinton Street on the Lower East Side and 436 and 438 West 52nd Street in Hell’s Kitchen. Combined, the six buildings totaled 96 apartment units, 40 percent of which were regulated. It is unclear how many of the apartments in the Ludlow Street trio were market-rate.
The developer is largely hated by community activists and tenant advocates, a recent New York Times profile noted, for the eviction notices, construction work and higher rents he typically brings to the buildings he purchases. But Shaoul said he believes he deserves “a pat on the back” for the work he does. [Lo-Down NY] — Adam Fusfeld