Demolition on Church Street?

In late February, I posted the rumor that 149 Church—on the east side, between Chambers and Warren—was being sold, and the commercial tenants (such as Ruben’s Empanadas, which had recently closed) were on the way out.

“The rumors are true,” emailed a resident of the building. “The building has been sold, and last I heard from outgoing management, the new developer is trying to secure air rights to demolish the existing building and build a 12-13 story condo. If it’s unsuccessful with air rights, it plans to double the rents on the existing tenants to drive them out, and then remodel the building. We got an official letter notifying us of the sale today.”

If anyone out there knows anything—including what rights, if any, the current tenants have—please drop me a line at or 917-209-6473.

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  1. Will the corner deli be going? When it opened maybe 28 years ago, it was the first place in the immediate neighborhood to be able to buy any type of food.

    If it goes, will we, once again, have to walk to Hudson to buy milk? A giant step backwards.

    Oh no!

  2. I hope they are unsuccessful with the air rights. Who determines if you can get air rights anyways?

    • I’m no expert in air rights, but the idea is that a building can buy air rights from its neighbors—so if they don’t want a taller building next door, they control it. (The exception being Hudson River Park, which now has ability to sell its air rights to buildings across West Street.) The area’s zoning, of course, is also a factor—in this case, I’d have to imagine that Church Street is zoned to allow sizable buildings, judging from 56 Leonard, 30 Park Place, et al.