The Real Deal New York

Competition for Bowery development sites reaches a boil

Prices on the famously gritty street have skyrocketed
August 23, 2014 10:00AM

These days you won’t find any bums on Bowery. Fierce competition between investors and a lack of inventory have sent prices for new and redevelopment sites on the street soaring.

“The bargains on the Bowery are as far gone as the gangs of New York — no one’s using the b-word anymore,” Jason Haber of Warburg Realty told the New York Daily News. “It’s gone from hot to white hot in 60 seconds.”

But a local organization is hoping to slow things down a bit. They’re campaigning to have the east side of the entire Bowery rezoned so that developers or existing building owners can’t cash in.

“The real estate speculation . . . is escalating the displacement of almost everything but luxury housing, bars and upscale restaurants,” said David Mulkins of the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors, a preservationist group. “It’s really sad. It’s turning the Bowery into another West Broadway.”

But developers are still seeing dollar signs. They cite a condo project at 250 Bowery, where prices ranged from $925,000 to $6 million, that recently sold-out, and the $30 million sale of 223-225 Bowery, formerly home to a Salvation Army shelter.

“When we did 250 Bowery . . . with those prices, people laughed at us — pretty loudly, actually,” John Gomes of Douglas Elliman, who marketed the apartments, told the Daily News. “They said, ‘We know the Bowery . . . as a crack den, but are you guys smoking crack, too?’ Now, everyone wants to be here.” [NYDN] Christopher Cameron