You can now buy the site of the East Village explosion

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If you're in the market for a plot of land to develop in Manhattan—a rare opportunity on this overcrowded island—an interesting, if macabre, opportunity has hit the market. The owner of 123 2nd Avenue, one of the buildings destroyed in last year's East Village gas explosion, is putting the vacant land on the market to the tune of $9.7 million, the New York Post reports.

George Pasternak's building, which housed Pomme Frites, a small deli, and numerous apartments, was taken down after the owner of the neighboring building allegedly illegally tampered with the gas lines, setting off a fatal explosion. (Five people were recently arrested over the incident.) The lot features 10,000 "buildable square feet," per the Post, and allows for a mix of residential and retail, as was the setup before the blast. While the neighboring lots aren't currently on the market, as a victim of a crime, Pasternak's legal proceedings against his neighbors could also mean that whoever buys the lot will be entitled to a portion of the proceeds once the land next door does sell. "The timing is right [for Pasternak] to let go and start over and give someone else a chance to develop the property," Compass broker Gabriele Sewtz told the paper.

The only downside here is the current tax burden; after the buildings were demolished, the property changed tax classes, resulting in higher rates. But if you're willing to lay out cash up front and deal with the headache of launching a full-scale construction project on a busy downtown street, it's hard to think the investment wouldn't end up paying off. As for us, we're curious to see what ends up going in on this infamous corner, and pre-emptively sympathetic to our friends near Second Avenue who'll have to live with months (or years) of construction clamor.


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