Jody Kriss and East River Partners have been quite active in NYC development. While their usual focus is on revitalizing the city’s beloved brownstones and preserving the Big Apple’s aging properties and energizing them with modern touches, the latest project is truly one-of-a-kind. The developers are working in the Lower East Side restoring the last remaining synagogue in a one-time Jewish shtetl.
Saving the East Village Synagogue
Before Jody Kriss and East River Partners came upon the Adas Yisroel Anshe Mezritch Synagogue, it was a far cry from its original luster. Founded by Polish settlers in 1910, the synagogue fell into disrepair over the years and was slated for demolition in 2012. Somehow, the building and its occupants muddled through, though the brickwork was left crumbling and the once stately building exposed to the elements due to broken windows. When the locks broke as well, worshippers put their faith in a higher power, and secured the doors with rope. Then, Rabbi Pesach Ackerman and Jody Kriss worked together to come up with a very unconventional plan.
Jody Kriss and East River Partners’ 415 East 6th Street
The building at 415 East 6th Street needed a lot of help to be restored. As a landmarked structure, it required an experienced and knowledgeable team to handle the renovations, while preserving the historical integrity. With numerous successful condo developments throughout NYC under their belts, Jody Kriss and East River Partners stepped forward to create a one-of-a-kind development. The synagogue remains intact for its small base of worshippers, who will have full access to its amenities on the lower floor. Moreover, Kriss and his team have pledged to provide the funds to cover maintenance on the shul for a full 200 years following the renovation, allowing its iconic stained-glass windows with the Star of David to shine like a beacon on 6th street for generations to come.
Three Luxury Condos Top The Building
Though the main floor will remain a place of worship, the upper floors were converted to condos with all the lavish amenities people have come to expect from a Jody Kriss and East River Partners project. This enables the synagogue to be restored, and provides much-needed housing in the East Village. The second and third floor each host a two-bedroom unit of about 1900 square feet, while the uppermost two floors make up a three-bedroom duplex penthouse, and spans more than 2,500 square feet. The building boasts electronic keypads and video intercoms, as well as high-end appliances. The floors are of oak, with marble donning the bathroom floors, walls, and counters. The kitchens are designed with a chef in mind, featuring thoughtful touches like custom-cabinetry. Residents are also treated to all the area has to offer, such as shopping, cultural activities, and dining.
Downtown Magazine recently interviewed Jody Kriss, and spoke a bit about the East 6th Street preservation, as well as what’s happening with East River Partners and developments across NYC. While there is a lot happening in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and the group has numerous successful projects completed, Kriss can’t pick a single achievement that he’s most proud of. “Creating terrific homes for folks to live in and enjoy,” he explained. “That’s the joy of doing what we do.” If the 6th Street synagogue revitalization is any indication of things to come, it’s clear his list of achievements to choose from will only grow larger.