Seller beware! In April, Beastie Boy Adam Horovitz sold his SoHo townhouse to a Canadian developer, who claimed he wanted it for “personal use.”
Now The Village Voice is reporting that the new owner, Stephane Boivin, is seeking permission to demolish the property.Which doesn’t come as a huge surprise given that Mr. Boivin is planning a seven-story, mixed-use property adjacent to the Beastie abode, plus he already owns several other properties in the city.Mr. Boivin apparently construes “personal use” rather broadly, as in “I will personally be using this federal-era row house as a teardown,” Mr. Horovitz’s best intentions for the building be damned. The Corcoran listing had hoped for better too: “This home is for someone who appreciates unique period details and exceptional charm,” it suggested optimistically.
Mr. Boivin purchased the house at 186 Spring Street for $5.5 million, according to city records, buying under a limited liability company Nordica Soho LLC.
Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation tells The Village Voice that Mr. Boivin is now seeking permission from the Landmarks Preservation Commission to demolish the property, which has the Greenwich Village Society all up in arms.
Built in 1824, it’s the last structure of its kind that has remained more or less intact in the South Village area, which is one of the many districts in the city that has been trying to get the LPC’s sought-after historical designation.
“For 10 years we’ve been trying to get the South Village marked as a historic district,” Mr. Berman tells The Village Voice. “The city has stalled out and not kept their word despite this area being declared as one in seven of the most important and threatened historic sites by the Preservation League of New York.”
The Greenwich Village Society could, of course, try to score a designation for the building itself in the meantime, but they’d have to get in line: the LPC is considering applications for nearly 3,400 buildings spread across all five boroughs.