158-Year-Old Legally-Embattled Building on Leonard Street Finally Sells for $11.2 Million
Image via Tribeca Trib
It’s been a rough year for an even rougher 158-year-old structure located at 17 Leonard Street. Since 2013, there’s been an ongoing dispute over damage in the building that caused an evacuation ordered by the Department of Buildings. Owner Christopher Rolf has been feuding with his next-door neighbor, Steven Schnall, who is constructing a seven-story condo building with a two-story penthouse next door at 15 Leonard. The dispute concerns the cause of several giant cracks that Rolf alleged appeared once Schnall started construction. Rolf claimed Schnall’s project was the reason for the damage, while Schnall insisted that the old structure was already in shambles long before he even broke ground. The drama has dragged on for over a year, but a recent sale points to the end of the saga at 17 Leonard—at least for Rolf. According to public records, Rolf has finally parted ways with the property, striking a deal with an undisclosed buyer (listed simply as “17 Leonard Properties, LLC”) for $11.165 million.
Rolf originally asked $15.77 million, eventually cutting the price down several times before landing on a $10.965 million price tag last November.
The property sold via Prime Manhattan, but prior to this, Brown Harris Stevens held the listing which touted a design (seen above) of what a rental rehab could look like. The listing noted the possibility of building an elevated structure up to 84 feet and a setback penthouse addition on the roof (subject to Landmarks approval).
Additionally, bundled with the purchase was the opportunity to negotiate approximately 9,700 square feet of development rights over the adjacent building to the east (19-21 Leonard Street). The air rights can’t be applied to the existing building at 17 Leonard due to landmarking, but could be sold to another building where they can be used.