Gramercy condo building on old hardware site to rise 20 stories

ODA Architecture, Cantor-Pecorella join project

From left: 150-154 East 23rd Street and Eran Chen
From left: 150-154 East 23rd Street and Eran Chen

Livingston, N.J.-based developer Bill Cheng plans to construct a 20-story, 80,000-square-foot condominium building on the site of a now-shuttered, century-old hardware store in Gramercy, The Real Deal has learned.

Cheng’s son, Kent Cheng, filed permits with the city Department of Buildings on Friday to demolish three adjacent commercial properties at 150-154 East 23rd Street. Cheng, affiliated with LKH 23rd LLC, intends to put up new structures between Lexington and Third avenues “as soon as possible,” Kent Cheng told The Real Deal.

Soho-based residential brokerage Cantor-Pecorella was hired to handle marketing and sales for the project, which is slated to have 46 condominium units and a ground-floor retail space, said principal Richard Cantor.

A broker has yet to be hired to market the planned retail condo, the size of which was undisclosed.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

One- and two-bedrooms will occupy the second through 11th floors, while larger two-bedrooms as well as three- and four-bedrooms will be on the upper floors. Unit sizes will be 600 square foot for a one-bedroom; 950 to 1,700 square feet for a two-bedroom; and 1,500 to 3,000 square feet for three- and four-bedrooms, Cantor said. Most of the prices for the three- and four-bedrooms have yet to be determined. Sales are expected to launch by spring 2015.

Eran Chen’s ODA Architecture is designing the site, with a mix of glass and stone veneer exterior. Amenities include a shared outdoor pool, children’s playroom and a gym. Cantor-Pecorella also handled sales for the ODA-design Tribeca condo building 5 Franklin Place.

“It will be very radical for the area,” Cantor told TRD, referring to the façade, which is to be split into two parts.

LKH 23rd LLC bought the three-, six- and seven-story buildings in 2009 for a total of $9.5 million. Two of the loft office properties long housed Verseci Hardware on the ground floor. The Verseci family owned and operated all three buildings and the retail space for about 100 years. After the sale to Cheng, store owner and longtime employee Surapong Pornpitaksuk changed the name to 23rd Street Hardware.

As demolition loomed, 23rd Street Hardware closed by the end of November, as previously reported. Pornpitaksuk said at the time that the store might relocate if he finds a spot with affordable rent.