What does the base of the Williamsburg Bridge on the Lower East Side need more, an auto repair shop or a 12-story condo building? T&J Auto Repairs at 210 Delancey Street, a neighborhood fixture since 1954, was bought in one fell swoop along with four surrounding lots by a group of 53 investors for $8.48 million ($160,000 each, according to records on file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission). Delancey Bridge Tower LLC, comprising Chinese-Americans from "around the five boroughs, Long Island and Connecticut," are planning a residential tower with a large central courtyard and a Chinese-language school on the ground floor, a move that Lo-Down NY interprets as a "for us, by us" situation, further underlined by the hiring of Michael Kang, a slightly shady local architect once listed as the project architect of The Nolitan.
Though the Marano family who owns T&J has been buying up surrounding property since the '80s, the son, a real estate developer himself, admits the land was too valuable not to sell. Furthermore:
"Because the garage is grandfathered under current zoning laws that allow residential uses only, the Maranos were not permitted to expand the auto shop. As a result, the adjacent lots at 206 and 208 Delancey St. and 49 and 51 Pitt St. remained undeveloped except for use as parking." Living next to the exit ramp of a major New York City bridge, sounds pretty valuable, no?
· Chinese-American Condos Planned at Delancey and Pitt [The Lo-Down NY]