It’s official: a trio of old buildings on the Bowery, one of them dating back to 1799, are slated for demolition according to permits filed with the Department of Buildings. There had been speculation that 140 and 142 Bowery would be torn down ever since they went on the market last year. Now it looks like 138 Bowery will be joining them, as permits for its demolition were filed the same day under the same LLC.
The buildings are within the Little Italy Historical District, which means any new structures are prohibited from exceeding a height of 85 foot or eight stories unless authorized by the City Planning Commission. Neil Wexler of Wexler Associates, the structural engineering firm responsible for several new Brooklyn residential buildings, including the high-end, 400,000 square foot NOVO-Park Slope and Williamsburg’s more modest Essex Berry, is named as applicant of record on the project.
Mayur Gawhane, who is listed as managing agent, declined to comment, but his phone number and address match that of Emmut Properties. The company name on the permits is RevX-660, LLC., which can be traced back to Reverse Exchange Services, Inc., a company specializing in “deal-specific solutions for tax-deferred reverse exchanges.”
“By using RES, the exchanger has the assurance that the replacement property may ultimately be acquired by the exchanger even though the exchanger is having a difficult time selling the relinquished property,” according to RES’s website.
Though there’s still a “For Sale” sign on 142, and this listing says the pair are up for sale for $22 million. But Matthew Hars of Manhattan-Spaces said 140 and 142 are not currently on the market. According to NYC Finance Department records, they were purchased just last November from Grand Bowery Bright LLC for $21 million. 134, 136 and 138 Bowery were purchased by RevX-660 from 134-8 Bowery Realty Corporation for an even $24 million the same day.
The dormers were removed from squat little 140 Bowery, the oldest of the three buildings, in 2011, leaving in their place a couple of sad black patches. Records show that from 1799 to 1802 a butcher occupied this address, which retains original features “such as its steeply pitched roof, and, if one looks closely, paneled stone lintels on the second story,” according to the Historic Districts council. Up until recently it was considered one of twelve Federal period buildings that, due to minimal alterations, still clearly represent the era.