Ben Shaoul founded Magnum Real Estate Group in 1999, focused on renovating small, rundown rental apartments. After growing its portfolio extensively over the past five years to includeretail properties, condos, and even a dormitory, the firm is now one of the city’s leading ground-up development companies. Their impressive portfolio includes 389 East 89th Street on the Upper East Side, 100 Avenue A in the East Village, and 100 Barclay in Tribeca, as well as their latest development that’s on the rise at 196 Orchard Street on the Lower East Side. Adjacent to the famed Katz’s Delicatessen, the building will ultimately top out at 11 stories tall and host 94 condos when it’s completed next year. CityRealty recently caught up with Shaoul to discuss the project, its design, and the ever-evolving Lower East Side.
Interview: Developer Ben Shaoul on 196 Orchard Street, his Lower East Side condo rising next to Katz’s, Fri, May 5, 2017
Developer Ben Shaoul’s new Lower East Side condos adjacent to Katz’s famous deli at 196 Orchard Street have just hit the market. Definitely in line with the 21st century version of the storied neighborhood, the 96 newly-minted apartments have luxurious finishes, expansive views and enviable amenities, with units starting at $1.075 million for a studio.
At First Avenue and 89th Street on the Upper East Side, 31 floors of spacious, light-filled homes have been reintroduced to the market. In a building previously known as the Post Toscana, 199 rental apartments have been upgraded and enlarged into 156 one- to three-bedroom residences fashioned by acclaimed interior designer Paris Forino. Now dubbed 389 E 89, the tower is the latest in a flurry of top-shelf rental buildings re-branded as affordable condos with high-end finishes.
In anticipation of its official sales launch later this winter, Ben Shaoul’s Magnum Real Estate Group has illuminated Luminaire, a 103-unit condominium-conversion at 385 First Avenue in downtown’s Gramercy Park neighborhood. According to the marketing team, the cool-blue lighting scheme, specified by Magnum, is inspired by the building’s floor-to-ceiling windows and sun-bathed units.
Back in 2012, when Magnum Real Estate‘s Ben Shaoul announced plans to turn the Cabrini nursing home in the East Village into condos, more than a handful of “Sledgehammer Shaoul” flags went up in protest. Plans moved ahead despite public outcry, and now more than two years later, the former nursing home has transformed into a luxury residential building called Bloom 62. Although not much has been done to dress up the exterior, the 26-unit condo is no slouch and boasts a number of enviable luxuries, including a landscaped roof deck and gym. But Bloom 62’s most valuable amenity may be what sits on its ground floor: a school.