The 30-year-old, English-accented, big-bearded Lower East Side nightlife king Simon Hammerstein, who calls his half-burlesque, semi-lewd supper club the Box a “theater of varieties,” just bought his first apartment, according to city records.
Last month, he paid $1.27 million for a 1,650-square-foot loft at 265 Water Street, one of those distressingly picture-perfect South Street Seaport buildings. It has ancient red brick and perfect little green shutters; an original wooden staircase; a manual elevator; and, as icing, was designed as a hardtack biscuit bakery when Ulysses S. Grant was president.
The loft has a 54-foot-long living/dining room, with a separate office and bedroom, according to the listing. “I think in the beginning he’s going to take out walls, and then see what he needs, which is a good way to do it,” said the listing broker, Liz Dworkin. The floor plan says there’s something called a “shoe room” off the bedroom: Maybe the buyer has a lot of footwear to store.
Mr. Hammerstein, a boarding school dropout, great-great-grandson of the founder of midtown’s ballroom, and grandson of legendary songwriter Oscar Hammerstein II, did not respond to phone calls, a request through his publicist, or a text message to his cell phone that asked if the apartment was bought with inherited money or with the windfall from the Box.
The latter seems possible, at least considering that he’s said the theater’s tables charge up to $2,000. (One would have to sell just 63.5 tables at $2,000 a pop to get the $127,000 for a 10 percent deposit on a $1.27 million loft.)
But 256 Water Street isn’t Box-like; it’s a “small friendly co-op,” according to the listing. On the downside, a still-life photographer in the building named Greg Bloom (war photojournalist James Nachtwey is apparently a neighbor, too) said Wall Street people venture over for happy hour, though tourists don’t wander up from Fulton Street too often.