The Real Deal New York

Shaoul, partners pay $75M for LES development site

Magnum and Real Estate Equities plan 83-unit mixed-use building next to Katz's Deli
By Rich Bockmann | April 20, 2015 04:30PM

UPDATED, April 21, 2:00 p.m.: Ben Shaoul has teamed up with Real Estate Equities Corp. to close on a $75 million assemblage on the Lower East Side where they plan to develop a mixed-use building next to Katz’s Deli, The Real Deal Has learned.

The partnership between Shaoul’s Magnum Real Estate Group and Real Estate Equities –  led by the father-and-son team of Michael and Brandon Miller along with Mark Siegel – plans to construct an 83-unit, mixed-use building on the site at 196 Orchard Street, which fronts 100 feet along East Houston Street and roughly 120 Feet Along Orchard Street.

News of the assemblage started to bubble up last summer, when it was reported that the owner of Katz’s had struck a deal to sell the 150-year-plus-old deli’s air rights, a move that would help ensure the NYC institution remained in place.

Soon thereafter, Shaoul and his partners entered into contract to buy a trio of properties next to Katz’s, and a few months later filed plans to construct a 113,246-square-foot building on the site.

All told, Shaoul and Real Estate Equities, a Midtown-based firm that earlier this year sold a retail space under the High Line to Savanna, paid $75 million to buy four properties from two different owners and the air rights over the delicatessen.

Curbed dubbed Shaoul “The Sledgehammer” due to a confrontation with squatters. In the case of the Orchard Street assemblage, though, the retail spaces were delivered vacant.

Magnum is currently repositioning the Ralph Walker-designed former Verizon building at 140 West Street into 166 condos in partnership with the CIM Group. The project is now known as Ralph Walker Tribeca with an address at 100 Barclay Street.

Correction: A previous version of this story gave an incorrect purchase price. The story also incorrectly described the origin of Shaoul’s nickname.