MURRAY HILL — A Manhattan developer is looking to construct a 13-story building on a Third Avenue corner where its plans for demolition of the existing buildings has already led to the closure of a beloved neighborhood eatery.
Extell Development Company on Wednesday filed plans for a 13-story building at 501 Third Ave. on the corner of East 34th Street, several months after filing demolition permits and a month after La Giara, a beloved Italian restaurant with 20 years in the neighborhood, was forced to close its doors there.
The footprint of the new building will include the lot currently occupied by 499 Third Ave., a three-story building for which Extell filed a permit for demolition in April, records show. That building currently houses a burrito spot and two floors of apartments.
Extell bought the two buildings for a combined $16.5 million last December from the Duell Family, according to property records.
La Giara, one of three restaurants owned by restaurateur Pietro Arenella, closed in June when the eatery’s lease was up and Extell declined to renew, Arenella told DNAinfo New York last month.
“We knew that with a new owner and being on the corner that there was a high potential for development,” he said. “We just decided that we’ve been there 19 years, it was time to move on. That’s life.”
If approved, the project will also force out the Cinema34, which sits on the corner next to La Giara, and New York Budget Inn, a hostel-like lodging that sits above the bar.
According to a manager at Cinema34 who spoke with DNAinfo last month, the bar will close at the end of July, despite having signed a two-year lease in January. And the owners of the hotel, meanwhile, filed a lawsuit in New York Supreme Court on Wednesday asking a judge to determine whether Extell’s termination of the hotel’s lease was legitimate, according to The Real Deal.
A representative for Extell did not respond to a request for comment.