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Carter's View

Equity Residential, the Chicago-based company controlled by Sam Zell, has acquired Shaya Bomelgreen's interest in the residential building site at 500 West 23rd Street on the southwest corner of Tenth Avenue, according to an article in today's New York Post by Lois Weiss.

The long-term ground lease for the site was bought from Mr. Boymelgreen for $11.25 million and the article said that documents indicated that the land was purchased from others for $750,000.

Design plans for the site by Randy Gernet of Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel approved by the Department of Buildings October 1, 2009 indicated that the building, which is also known as 209 Tenth Avenue, would be 13 stories high and contain 106 rental apartments.

A subsequent filing with the department January 6, 2010 indicated that the new owner was Robert Piazza, vice president, of Equity Residential of 180 Riverside Boulevard.

The site is just to the west of the High Line Elevated Park and is across the street from 511 and 519 West 23rd Street, two new residential condominiums.

The article quoted an e-mail form a Boymelgreen executive that "EQR is a strong market player, and will move quickly to develop the project with its own internal financing capability."

Mr. Boymelgreen came to New York from Israel in 1969 and worked in asbestos removal before getting involved in real estate development.

A December 1, 2009 article in The New York Times by Christine Haughney noted that "His break came in 2001, when he met the diamond magnate Lev Leviev on a cruise, and the two became business partners," adding that "Mr. Boymelgreen went on to build more than 2,400 apartments in New York City and expanded his real estate empire into more than a dozen countries."

The article stated that the large residential condominium project at 20 Pine Street in Lower Manhattan "remains entangled in a dispute with Mr. Leviev's company, Africa Israwel USA, over construction responsibilities," adding that relations between Mr. Leviev and Mr. Boymelgreen "have been sour since a split in 2007."

In a February 6, 2005 article in The New York Times, William Neuman wrote that "Mr. Boymelgreen has pushed the fringes of TriBeCa, with a 68-unit development called River Lofts at West and Laight Streets."

"In trendy NoLIta," the article continued, "he is converting the former East River Savings Bank building at 60 Spring Street into 42 condos. He has changed the face of the financial district, hiring the flamboyant designer Philippe Starck to carry out the high-concept conversion of the old J. P. Morgan offices at 15 Broad Street into 326 condos with a view of the New York Stock Exchange across the street."
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Architecture Critic Carter Horsley Since 1997, Carter B. Horsley has been the editorial director of CityRealty. He began his journalistic career at The New York Times in 1961 where he spent 26 years as a reporter specializing in real estate & architectural news. In 1987, he became the architecture critic and real estate editor of The New York Post.