The Fall Of Red Square On The Lower East Side

Red Square on the Lower East Side apartment building loses its iconic statue of Vladimir Lenin.

By Team Agorafy November 1, 2016
Courtesy of Luxury Listings NYC

There’s some wacky apartment buildings in New York City, but Red Square, a 130-rental apartment building that sits at 250 East Houston Street, might be one of the wackiest. It was built the year the Soviet Union fell in 1989, and the building is impossible to miss. Or, we should say, was impossible to miss, that is before the giant 18-foot statue of Vladimir Lenin that stood on the roof, was removed.

Related: The Lower East Side Goes From Punk To Penthouse

Michael Rosen was the original developer of the building, as well as a former professor of radical sociology (duh). Mr. Rosen bought the statue form artist Yuri Gerasimov who built it for the Soviet Union. But alas, the Union collapsed just as the statue was being completed, and then it needed a new home as it was no longer a viable option to display in the former USSSR—thanks, Gorbachev. But their loss was New York City’s gain and in 1994, Mr. Rosen found it on a trip to Moscow, bought it, and had it shipped to New York and installed on the roof of Red Square. This seemed appropriate as the Lower East Side was the home of the socialist movement in the US.

Just as the fall of a mighty Union happens, so does the fall of some real estate. Red Square went into contract last August with 250 Houston Investors, LP, for $100 million. The Dumont Company will manage the joint acquisition. The 13 floor building holds 23,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor as well as 130 rental units. Right now, there’s four vacancies in the retail section and two apartments are available for rent: a one bedroom for $3000 a month,  and a two-bedroom with a terrace for $4,875.

Lenin Statue Lower East Side

Before the sale of the building was final, poor Vladimir was removed from the roof. He will no longer preside over the Lower East Side raising an arm toward the financial district as if to say, “I don’t approve, but I salute your effort.” But socialists shouldn’t get all weepy because the statue will re-appear soon on top of a walk-up on Norfolk Street… why not?

But the statue of Lenin isn’t all that’s being removed from Red Square. It turns out staff salaries at the newly dubbed, “250 East Houston” will also mostly disappear as they’re going to be cut by 30 percent. The doormen in the building were not unionized (ironic?) and were making around $16 an hour. After the sale of the building, they were given only one day to accept a new salary of $11 an hour- or find work elsewhere.

As if that’s not enough to make the statue mad, possibly come to life and crush the new capitalist owners, letters from residents have been pouring in about the safety of the elevators in the building. Residents have said they’ve “been malfunctioning for more than a year,” and “…they don’t feel safe using them.

The letter that was written back to residents said, “(The building) will be undergoing a renovation project that will encompass updating common area spaces, adding amenities, renovating apartments and upgrading building systems.”

Like the former Soviet Union, Red Square may be no more, but the memory of giving directions such as, “Turn right onto Houston where the giant Lenin is waiving on top of that building,” will always live on.


Team Agorafy



Our mission is to be the most accurate resource for commercial listings, residential listings, and property information, allowing users to make highly-informed decisions based on current market data.

    Stefano Boeri, the architect mastermind behind the famous plant-covered skyscrapers, is now designing Forest Cities in Liuzhou, China. #ForestCity #China
    Auction is the second scheduled in a month for a One57 unit and it could set a NYC foreclosure record. #BillionairesRow #Foreclosures
    Once a couch-surfing website, Airbnb moves on to luxury properties, further disrupting hospitality industry. #Airbnb #Luxury
Four Countries To Retire In With $200K In Savings—And How Much Real Estate Costs There
Ever dreamed of retiring abroad? You know, affordable healthcare, better climate, more positive news—becoming an expat seems like an enticing option, especially one you no…
While Other Real Estate Platforms Start Charging Agents $3-Per-Day Exposure Fee, Agorafy Remains Accessible To All
Real Estate searching platform are always finding news ways to diversify their revenues models. Case in point—on Tuesday July 18, Streeteasy, one of New York…
Is Real Estate Crowdfunding The Fix That Urban Housing In America Really Needs?
Saving money for a down payment? One can only hope. Most millennial in their twenties or thirties are mortified that they might never be able…
Brooklyn And Queens’ Real Estate Sub-Markets Continue Their Ascent To The New Heights
So, the sales prices in Brooklyn and Queens hit record highs. Again. Just like they did in December 2016 and at the end of this…
The Economy Of Car Services And Delivery Apps Might Be Making NYC Less Eco-Friendly
Living in an eco-friendly neighborhood is a good thing. And, as it always the case with the good things, it also costs more. High rents…
Building Communities: What The U.S. Developers Should Learn From Soho China
As our world emerges into the new period of globalization and technology, some of the most important by-products of this process are buildings that have…
Five Reasons Why All Entrepreneurs Must Keep Their Eyes On China
It is hard to overestimate the importance of Chinese influence on the modern global economy. Carving out a place in Chinese market and winning over…
Airbnb Up Their Game With A New Luxury Tier Featuring Mansions And Villas
Airbnb is about to seriously up their game. First, the company started testing a new service called Select in an attempt to push accommodation listings…