It's confirmed: Aby Rosen's RFR Realty has indeed purchased the mysterious, abandoned-looking 37,000-square-foot building on the corner of Bowery and Spring Street that has served as the private home of photographer Jay Maisel since 1966. And, no shock here, RFR wants to convert the 1898 Germania Bank building intoone guesscondos. To be fair, Rosen told the Times that RFR is also considering converting the space into offices or even an art gallery, all with ground-floor retail.
What persuaded Maisel to sell after nearly 50 years of ownership? Probably in no small way the sum that RFR is offering, which has yet to be released. Past estimates for the building's value float around the $50 million mark, a burly gain for the artist who purchased the building for $102,000 in 1966. On the sale, Rosen demurred to the Times, "The building is in terrible shape. There's no heat, Jay lives in just a small area of the building, another winter is coming, and it was time." Nonetheless, Maisel took some convincing; Rosen's courtship lasted several months. Although the sale has not yet closed, its news has already confirmed that the Bowery of yore is no more.
· Despite Record Prices, RFR Goes on a Manhattan Buying Spree [NYT]
· Mysterious 37,000-Square-Foot Bowery Home May Be For Sale [Curbed]
· A Survey of the Bowery's Changing Landscape [Curbed]
· All 190 Bowery coverage [Curbed]