Tuesday, October 1, 2013

[Updated] East 14th St. synagogue on the market for conversion to residential, commercial use

[Image via Manhattan Sideways]

There's a new listing for 334 E. 14th St. ... current home of the Tifereth Israel Town and Village Synagogue just west of First Avenue.

The current asking price is $13,950,000.

Per the Massey Knakal listing:

Located on the south side of East 14th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues, the synagogue currently has meeting room space on the ground floor, a double height sanctuary, and an extension with offices and classrooms. The third floor has an office and a classroom. This building is located on a highly visible retail corridor in the East Village. The property can be delivered vacant and would be suitable for conversion to residential or a variety of commercial uses. Ownership will entertain proposals for a Joint Venture or partial sale.

A little history of the structure, via New York Songlines:

The building was originally built in 1866 as the First German Baptist Church, designed in the Rundbogenstil by Julius Boekell. It became the Ukranian Church in 1928, when it gained two of its onion domes.

Updated 12:11 p.m.

Massey Knakal passed along this news release that addresses any possible concerns about the synagogue's future.

Many religious organizations today are finding themselves with outdated and inefficient space that no longer fits their needs. The Town & Village Synagogue (“T&V”) is one such institution who is taking affirmative steps to address their situation and improve upon their current home to propel their mission for the next generation. The synagogue’s motto is “Building Community & Commitment,” and to do so, they would like to redevelop their current space or to find a new, modern space to permit their congregation to grow, and that is easily accessible for their services and educational programs, including their award-winning Hebrew School.

Founded in 1948, the Conservative Jewish synagogue was created to serve the young men and women starting new lives after WWII in newly built Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village ... The original two story church building, which sits on a 60’ wide lot, was converted and added onto over the years. The total space now consists of 11,300 square feet consisting of a social hall on the ground floor, a double height sanctuary and an extension with offices and classrooms on the second floor.

The extension also provides for a third floor with an office and a classroom. While the building has grown in value over the years, the current layout, while offering many opportunities for a potential buyer, is no longer ideal for the synagogue. Having the sanctuary on the second floor has proved to be especially problematic for the synagogue. Although handicap accessible with a chair lift, it can sometimes take many minutes for T&V’s elderly and disabled members to enter or exit the space. The rest of the congregation also faces significant overcrowding on High Holidays and other key synagogue events. The current building organization also leads to a great deal of inefficiency and lost space needed for their various classroom and meeting space requirements.

T&V’s goal is to work with a developer to redevelop their current space or to relocate to a larger space within the neighborhood to a space with a 10,000 square foot floor plate or larger, with a ground floor presence. This type of space in the East Village is hard to come by, but the synagogue leadership has decided that unless they became proactive in their efforts they will never know if they can redevelop their space or find new space to meet their needs.

To aid them in their efforts, T&V has enlisted Massey Knakal Realty Services to market the property and solicit proposals. James P. Nelson, who is spearheading the marketing ... recommends a strategy of requesting a variety of proposals which could address the synagogue’s needs. These options include selling the property outright, or a partial sale, trade or joint venture where the property could be redeveloped with T&V maintaining its current location in a portion of the redeveloped and enlarged space.


marjorie said...

what the...where's the congregation going??

Anonymous said...

As a former member of the synagogue, who still has friends there, I echo the previous comment, "What the...?" Last time I was there they were pushing a new capital campaign for a big renovation.

Anonymous said...

Looks like all of the religions are cashing in and getting out of the East Village. First, Saint Mary's. Now, the synagogue.

Mitch Schapira said...

I started attending T&V when it was located over a soda fountain on Ave B, over a soda fountain. Later, my family associated with an Orthodox shul, but I would still attend the T and V dances at the Synagogue, which by then had relocated to its present location. It was there, that I first kissed a girl: Corinne Goodman.

Anonymous said...

Why bother advertising the history of the building? It's likely to be torn down entirely and replaced with a generic steel and glass drunken bro receptacle.

Unknown said...

Town & Village Synagogue has MOST CERTAINLY NOT given up on prayer and entered the atheistic, remunerative market. Quite to the contrary, we are a thriving, community of Conservative Jews made up of families of all kinds; traditional, progressive, interfaith, LGBT, straight, deaf…you name it. This growing kehilla (350 families strong) of Jews, non-Jews and those who are interested in becoming Jewish learn with our rabbi, send their kids to our Hebrew School, engage in our adult ed classes and build a palpable sense of community at our synagogue. We have an amazing group of people in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s who get together Friday nights to daven, nosh and hang out together. We regularly have 100 people or more at our Saturday morning Shabbat services. We have a wonderfully compassionate Rabbi and our Cantor rivals the best voices on the MetOpera stage. Plus the entire congregation is encouraged to sing along with her! I assure you, T&V is alive and kickin in lower Manhattan.
Take a look at our website www.tandv.org to see what is going on this week.

Yes, it is accurate that we have tapped the sources of an excellent RE broker, Massey Knackal, to explore our options with our building because WE ARE GROWING and we have a vision to be the spiritual nexus of Conservative Judaism serving lower Manhattan for generations to come.

I invite you and your readers to come to Shabbat service this Friday or Saturday and see for yourself how we’re doing. Stay for a nosh at Kiddush Saturday afternoon and see what we’re up to.
We’re located at 334 East 14th St next to the firehouse. Looking forward to welcoming you all to our kehilla.

Marianna Mott Newirth
President, Town & Village Synagogue

Anonymous said...

Just don't invest the money from the sale of that property with Madoff or Merkin.

Anonymous said...

whoa, I love T & V and I'm so sad to see it go this way. I'm sorry, but there is no way T&V is going to come out of this deal for the better. It's gonna be a glass condo, and there is NO comparable space available for $14m anywhere near there. Downsizing is the word, not "expanding." Sugarcoat it all you want, we're priced out of that neighborhood.

It makes me sad that yes, Mayor Bloomberg has improved the "quality of life" in the city but at SUCH cost. The monetary value of real estate is now SO great that no other values apply. None. Nothing is as valuable as money and real estate. Not small businesses--who are seeing rents pushed over $50/sqf because the buildings are being bought and sold at tremendous prices. Not families who need more than 800 sqf of space -- those size apts are $1m and up. Not even houses of worship, with all their tax advantages, can afford to stay on this island anymore. Some quality of life that produces.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it could become a upgraded version of the eighties icon Lime Light it could openly compete with the Webster Hall business and with Sty town becoming a NYU Dorm the audience just needs to cross 14th Street I think that was a movie no that was Crossing Delancey tale of a lonely pickle peddler so how you like those apples ...lol

Anonymous said...

I hope they learn the lessons of other synagogues that went down this path (Young Israel of 5th Avenue, Young Israel of the Lower East Side) only to be burned.