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Developer Applies for Special Permit to Build Equinox Next to Katz's Deli

 196 Orchard Street
196 Orchard Street
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Williams New York

LOWER EAST SIDE — A developer planning to stick an Equinox Fitness Club on the first three floors of his condo development will present the plan before Community Board 3 in June.

Ben Shaoul of the Magnum Real Estate Group has applied for a special permit through the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals that would allow him to build the monolith luxury gym and spa at 196 Orchard St. — the 11-story development going in next to Katz’s Delicatessen on the corner of E. Houston Street. 

The deli sold the property to Shaoul as part of a $17 million deal aimed at preserving the famed eatery's spot in the neighborhood, the New York Times reported in April. 

The residential portion of the development will consist of condos starting just under $1 million, plus a “limited selection” of studio to three-bedroom apartments, the Real Deal first reported.

The first floor of the establishment will include a reception area, a lounge, and a juice bar, while the second and third floors will contain exercise areas, including yoga and cycling studios, according to a statement from legal reps submitted along with an application to the BSA.

The gym is projected to have approximately 6,000 to 7,000 regular members, according to the application, with 600 to 800 visitors per day.

The city requires developers to obtain a special permit to open a “physical culture establishment” — also known as a gym — which can be granted under the area’s zoning as long as the establishment fulfills certain requirements, according to the city’s Zoning Resolution. 

Among these requirements is that the facility does not “impair the essential character or the future use or development of the surrounding area.”

The developer will present the plan before the board’s Land Use Committee at the June 15 meeting, which will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the University Settlement at Houston Street Center at 273 Bowery.