There are no permits posted outside, so I looked up the building’s DOB paperwork, approved on September 7, which says that it’s a Type II Alteration, which means no change to use, exits, or occupancy. Conversions from commercial to residential are Type I. The documents listed interior demolition, plumbing and mechanical work, and no enlargements, and noted that the building is landmarked (or in a landmarked district?). Indeed, here’s the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s approval (PDF), which says the work will be on every floor, and includes “the demolition and construction of interior non-bearing partitions and finishes.”
Since I’m not an expert at reading these documents, I called the architect listed there, H. Thomas O’Hara, but the project manager couldn’t talk about the project. Then I noticed a phone number for the owner, George Moscahlades (just like on the sign!). Someone who sounded like he didn’t want to talk confirmed it would be residential and the conversation was over. Only afterward did I realize it could’ve been someone else—an email for someone named Ted (which could be George) at Imian Partners (a real estate developer) was listed next to the phone number that I had called. The next day, I called George/Ted again, and left a message. I don’t expect to hear back.
I found a phone number for Moscahlades Brothers, but it no longer has anything to do with the building, according to the guy I spoke with.
Then I got an email from a reader, R., who has helped with previous real estate matters, so I asked him about it (even though I was hoping not to bug him unless necessary). He pointed out a DOB filing that I had somehow missed. It’s dated August 8 and it says that the project is a “residential conversion of an existing non-residential building,” still with no enlargement. I don’t understand why the Sept. 7 document says it’s a Type II, unless the entire plan was changed, which seems highly unlikely.
Sorry if that’s more than you want to know.
UPDATE (from R.): “The demo is basically their knocking down interior walls etc. etc. – hence an Alt II – no changes to egress as it is if anything it is increasing egress avenues not decreasing it. Interior Demo. The second filing I sent your way is for the actual conversion plan – Alt 1- they will be putting in all the amenities, walls, bathrooms etc. etc. required to convert this into the ‘residential.’ Definitely their intent to make this a residential building.”
UPDATE #2: Curbed is much better at reading DOB paperwork than I am: “Since the DOB residential conversion permit was not approved, clearly the project isn’t finalized. But, just for fun, let’s look at what the plans would bring if they do get approved. The building would be seven stories, with a cellar and a mezzanine. Floors two through seven would each have one unit, and the first floor would be shared by a retail store and another unit. According to the application, part of the first floor unit would be on the mezzanine level, and it would have a ‘recreation room’ in the cellar. The cellar would also have the super’s office, a fitness room, and storage areas.”
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Previous Nosy Neighbor posts:
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• Do newspaper boxes need permits?
• Why does 161 Duane say “Whalebone”?
• What’s the story behind those Harrison townhouses?
• What are those white things at 137 Franklin?
• What’s that thing at W. Broadway and Leonard?
• What happens to old cobblestones?
• Are buses allowed to idle on Laight?
• What’s happening with the Verizon building?
• Will the construction at Hudson and Laight ever end?
• What is Esoteric on Walker Street?
• What’s up with the building under renovation on Franklin?
• Is N. Moore getting cobblestoned?
• What are those orange awnings for?
• What’s happening at 73 Warren?
• Can you recommend any Tribeca picture books?
• Why are those shuttles on Greenwich?
• What’s coming to 15 Canal Street?
• Who enforces sidewalk-café regulations?
• What’s going on at 27 Desbrosses?
• What happened to the Lilac?
• When will those trailers on West Street go away?
• Do you know anything about 20-24 Varick?
• What’s happening to my parking lot?
• Is Pier 26 being worked on again?
• What’s up with Jin Market?
• What are those black pellets on Pier 25?
• What do the characters on 47 Vestry mean?
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• What’s up with those Verizon carts?
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• Who are the guys in the geeky pants?
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• What’s going on in 157 Hudson?
• What’s the new painting at 153 Hudson?
• What’s up with 55 Warren/55 Murray?
• What is this P.C. Richard & Son Theater I keep hearing about?
• What’s the story behind the lights at 289 Church?
• What’s the Dream House at 275 Church?
• How come every every film and TV shoot seems to have a trailer with doors marked “Lucy” and “Desi”?