Grove Press building to be pulverized by luxury condo development

The 11-story, 28-unit residential project comes at the chagrin of community group

66 University Place (Google Maps)
66 University Place (Google Maps)

Grove Press spent some of its landmark years fighting against censorship at 66 University Place in Greenwich Village. The publisher won many battles, but developers are ready to cut the history seeping out of the building.

On Tuesday, bSafal filed plans with the Department of Buildings for an 11-story, 28-unit residential project at the site. The building would be home to a set of luxury condos, according to Crain’s.

Development of the site falls to bSafal, a firm based in India making its first foray into the United States. The building would stand 125 feet tall and 66,000 square feet. It is being developed with Argo Real Estate, which purchased the site with the firm for $30 million two years ago.

When the building was sold, it wasn’t clear what the ultimate goal would be. But the site was already mostly vacant and the remaining tenants have been banking on demolition; specialty grocery store Agata & Valentina closed its location at the site back in May, according to EV Grieve.

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The latest filing comes as a hit to Village Preservation, a community group that has been trying to get the area designated as a historic district. Executive director Andrew Berman has pointed to important civil rights and art history moments in the district, including Grove Press’ fight to overturn censorship bans on the writings of Henry Miller and Marquis de Sade.

In a comment to Crain’s, Berman said it was “especially galling that it’s being lost for 28 super luxury condos that will probably, in most cases, be the second or third homes or the investment properties of their owners.”

High-end housing may soon be all the rage in the neighborhood. Earlier this week, Slate Property Group bought a former New School dorm on West 13th Street for $22.85 million, which the developer plans on converting into a luxury condo building.

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[Crain’s] — Holden Walter-Warner