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Former Lower East Side nursing home to get 28-story condo neighbor

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The tower will rise next to the landmarked Bialystoker Nursing Home building

A 28-story condo tower will rise beside the landmarked Bialystoker Nursing Home building.
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The developer who plans to convert the former Bialystoker Nursing Home into luxury condos also aims to erect a 28-story tower beside the Lower East Side landmark.

Round Square Development, formerly known as Ascend, filed plans with the city’s Department of Buildings for a 54-unit building at 232 East Broadway between Clinton and Montgomery streets. The development team originally sought to purchase 162,000 square feet of air rights from the neighboring Seward Park Cooperative to the tune of $54 million. Those development rights would have gone toward building two residential towers on either side of the landmark, but the co-op rejected the offer and the project has since been reworked.

“When we lost the air rights vote, we completely redesigned everything,” said Robert Kaliner of Round Square Development.

Instead of two towers, the project will now include one 28-story building; the site where the other building would have risen will be transformed into a private park for tenants of the tower and the redeveloped Bialystoker building. Of the 54 units at the new building, 85 percent will be priced at less than $2 million with amenities that include a swimming pool, rooftop lounge, and a gym.

The traditionally low- to mid-rise, low-income Lower East Side has seen a development boom in recent years with a wave of luxury condos. The neighborhood officially crossed the million dollar threshold this year with a median recorded sales price exceeding $1.3 million thanks to “a number of sales in high-end new developments this year [that] have pushed the neighborhood’s median home price,” according to a September StreetEasy report that looked at recorded sales between 2015 and 2019.

But a separate September StreetEasy report found that supply has outpaced demand in the neighborhood with hundreds of recently constructed apartments languishing on the market. Despite those findings, Kaliner says he’s confident the condos will sell.

“I just think that for what the offering is, this is kind of what New York City needs: luxury at an affordable price point,” says Kaliner. “We’re right in the heart of the Lower East Side where you can really just walk to everything.”

Redevelopment plans for the interior of the Bialystoker building have already been approved by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, and will be designed to mimic the style of the tan brick, Art Deco building’s facade, according to Kaliner. That project is expected to wrap up in roughly January 2021, with the condo tower anticipated for completion by June.