Aby Rosen’s RFR is in contract to buy 190 Bowery

Developer confirms deal for much sought-after home of photographer Jay Maisel

From left: 190 Bowery, Jay Maisel and Aby Rosen
From left: 190 Bowery, Jay Maisel and Aby Rosen

Aby Rosen has confirmed that RFR Realty is in contract to purchase the former Germania Bank building at 190 Bowery, the much sought-after home to a photographer.

Jay Maisel bought the 37,000-square-foot building at the corner of Spring Street for $102,000 in 1966. He has occupied it with his family for much of that time. The six-story building is well-known for its graffiti-covered exterior and has been valued at $50 million, according to multiple reports.

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“The building is in terrible shape. There’s no heat, Jay lives in just a small area of the building, another winter is coming and it was time,” Rosen told the New York Times. “When you own a property for that long, and you are not a real estate professional, it takes a lot of convincing.”

Last month, reports emerged that RFR was marketing the building, but the company did not confirm that it was the owner. Rosen would not disclose the selling price, but told the Times the building could be converted to a mix of condos and retail, offices or an art gallery. [NYT] — Tom DiChristopher