November 11, 2013
[EDIT: A previous version of this post conflated the hardware store at 152 East 23rd Street and the Naftali Group condos at 234 East 23rd Street, which are actually two separate sites on the same street. The condo building that is replacing the hardware store is being developed by LKH 23rd LLC. Curbed regrets the error.]
Vercesi Hardware opened in 1912 as a sheet music store, transitioned into selling televisions and radios in the ’30s, and then, in the ’60s, became the beloved hardware store that it remains today. And will remain, until the end of this month. New Jersey-based developers LKH 23rd LLC bought the building four years ago, signaling the beginning of the end for the humble hardware store. They plan to replace it with an 18-story condo tower, and even if there is retail on the ground floor, that retail will not be Vercesi—a representative for the owners told DNAinfo, “The tenant is a very nice guy … I don’t know if I want to put a hardware store there.” Vercesi is reportedly trying to find a place to relocate to, with very little success. “Everything is so expensive now,” the owner said.
Further down 23rd Street, condo-developing juggernauts the Naftali Groupbought the building and a neighboring building in June for $23.15 million and plan to turn the site into—any guesses?—a 20-story condo tower. The tower will contain 57 units, according to an application pending with the Department Buildings, and the architect of record is the notably anonymous Goldstein Hill &