Reps for developer Douglas Steiner filed permits today to demolish the now-vacant parcel of Mary Help of Christians that includes the church, school and rectory, according to DOB records.
Steiner, owner of the Brooklyn Navy Yard's Steiner Studios, bought the property last year for $41 million, as the Local reported in November. Aside from the three properties mentioned above, the deal included the former flea market lot.
Rumors of development here have been swirling since 2008, when The Real Deal reported that the Archdiocese of New York had sold two-thirds of the playground space along Avenue A had been in an all-cash deal for $10.4 million. That deal never materialized.
This is roughly the area of development that we're talking about... the church, adjacent school and rectory, and playground where vendors used to set up for the weekend flea markets... (the three buildings on the southwest corner of 12th Street and Avenue A aren't owned by the Archdiocese...)
The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and other community groups submitted a request to the Landmarks Preservation Commission asking them to landmark the church. The LPC denied the request. (Read about that here.)
No official word just yet on what new residential-retail development will rise here. There was some talk of an 80-20 split to include affordable housing.
Given the demolition permit, it doesn't appear that part of the church will be incorporated into the design of the new building, much like NYU did by sort of including the façade of St. Ann's into the entrance of the 12th Street dorm.
The church opened in 1917.
The church in 1920 via the NYPL Digital Gallery ...