Peebles’ efforts to silence landmarked clocktower at 108 Leonard foiled

Judge revokes LPC’s certificate of appropriateness to electrify clock’s inner workings

From left: 108 Leonard in Tribeca and Don Peebles (credit: Stephen Smith)
From left: 108 Leonard in Tribeca and Don Peebles (credit: Stephen Smith)

For whom the bells toll: Don Peebles’ Peebles Corp. and Israel-based Elad Group.

A judge ruled Thursday that the developers cannot electrify the inner workings of a landmarked clock as part of their condominium conversion of 13-story 108 Leonard Street in Tribeca.

After going through the Landmarks Preservation Commission approval process last year, the developers were granted a certificate of appropriateness to convert the clock tower into a private residence.

Marvin Schneider restored the E. Howard & Company, four-faced clock in 1980 and was tasked as the city’s official clock master to rewind its hands, the New York Times reported. The certificate of appropriateness would have allowed the electrification of the clock thus no need for Schneider to come into the private apartment to wind it, the newspaper reported.

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Miami-based Peebles acquired the 419,000-square-foot building – the single largest building ever sold by the City of New York – for $160 million in December 2013.

The building at 108 Leonard Street, Which Also Has The Address 346 Broadway, will have 151 new residential condo units set across 364,000 square feet of residential space, according to filings with the city’s Department of Buildings.

In January, Peebles was close to sealing a $334 million construction loan from Bank of America for the conversion.

In September, Peebles was sued by a former collaborator, Daniel Hoeg, who claimed that the developer reneged on joint venture agreement the two parties allegedly made in 2012 to pursue city projects, ultimately including 370 Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn, 346 Broadway in Tribeca and others. Peebles Corp. countersued Hoeg in February. [NYT]Dusica Sue Malesevic