The long-term Lower East Side forecast calls for a 100% chance of Chads. According to Bowery Boogie, the notorious developer Ben "The Sledgehammer" Shaoul has purchased the L-shaped tract of land on East Houston and Orchard Street that includes Ray's Pizza, Bereket Turkish Kebab House, and Boho Karaoke. The site's sources say that the businesses have until May to vacate.
Whether he's turning an East Village nursing home for low-income residents into a bucolic bungalow for the rich, or allowing the FDNY to run training exercises in occupied units to exorcise pesky tenants, critics contend Shaoul has eschewed the quaint notion of community for an aggressive pursuit of money.
Representatives from Shaoul's company, Magnum Real Estate Group, did not return requests for comment (Shaoul's parents, who also run Magnum, recently sued their son for treating the family business like his "own personal piggy bank.") None of the restaurants we contacted were aware of the transfer. The man who answered the phone at Bereket said he believed the restaurant had another year on its lease, but Bowery Boogie reports that the businesses were offered buyouts.
The 2008 rezoning of this area will allow Shaoul to build up. With another eight Danny Bowien restaurants likely on deck, The Soho House right down the street, and The DL a short Uber ride away, another glass-bound monument to monoculture will be the perfect place to live for two years before moving somewhere else.