IMG_3613Two of the Lower East Side’s most controversial projects just entered new phases of construction. First up, the Ludlow Street outpost of Soho House, which faced considerable opposition from neighbors when it applied for a liquor license last year, has raised its sidewalk shed, obscuring the facade that had become a magnet for taggers and street artists while the building’s renovation seemed to sit in limbo.

Here’s a closer look at the rendering showing the rooftop addition to the 1930s neo-Gothic building (formerly a funeral home, among other things) for which preservationists had sought landmark status.


We’ve reached out to Soho House to find out when the club might be opening. [Update: A Soho House rep says, “We have started some initial prep work on the site, however the main construction won’t start for another few months. We are looking to an opening timing towards the end of 2015.”]

In August of 2013, when Soho House representatives pled its case to SLA for a liquor license at 139-141 Ludlow, they assured opponents who were concerned about rooftop noise that Ludlow House, as the venue will be called, would have “musical programmers” instead of DJs, and that the membership fee would be in line with a gym membership. “This remarkable institution would actually change what the opposition hates about the area,” said membership director Rachel Smith.

SLA records show that applications for three bars are still pending.


Meanwhile, over on Orchard Street, the building dubbed the “Orchard Street Hell Building” has dropped its plywood to reveal its retail space. The website of 180 Orchard touts 23-foot-high ceilings, over 8,400 square feet of ground-floor space with a 2,000-square-foot mezzanine and at the base of the forthcoming 296-room Indigo Hotel — all adding up to an “unparalleled Lower East Side retail flagship opportunity.”

Years of led Curbed to dub the 24-story “Orchard Street Hell Building” the neighborhood’s “longest-running eyesore,” “greasiest shame,” and “longest-running shitshow” — and that was five years ago.

The hotel’s website is now accepting reservation starting in August of next year, and promises “contemporary artwork and cutting-edge furnishings that reflects the vibrant neighborhood around us.” There’s also this rendering of a rooftop pool.


Oh, and also this:

Just steps away from legendary Katz’s Delicatessen you can order the famous pastrami sandwich just like Meg Ryan did in When Harry Met Sally. Go ahead, sit in her seat, have what she had. The vibrant neighborhood that surrounds us evokes the youthful spirit of New York City.