Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Report: The former St. Emeric property could yield a 570-unit affordable housing complex on Avenue D

Potential plans have been revealed for the block-long property that formerly housed the St. Emeric church and school on 13th Street and Avenue D adjacent to the Con Ed power plant.

As PincusCo first reported yesterday, Spatial Equity and Community Access, a nonprofit developer, signed a deal with the Archdiocese of New York to pay between $58 million and $68 million for a 570-unit multifamily property at 181 Avenue D. 

However, the deal is contingent upon the City Council approving a Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) application for the lot. (The space is not currently zoned for residential use.)

And some reporting via Commercial Observer
The archdiocese filed a petition with the New York State Supreme Court for judicial approval of the sale on Monday, a requirement for nonprofit and religious organizations. 

The 1.4-acre lot will have two separate buildings, both 100 percent affordable housing, with one being about 240,000 square feet in total and the other spanning 190,000 square feet, according to the court filings.
Community Access has developed 21 affordable and supportive housing complexes in NYC, per its website. 

The now-deconsecrated church merged with St. Brigid on Avenue B in early 2013. Several years ago, the church's signage (it used to say "For God And Country, 1953") was chiseled away.
The property also includes a greenhouse...
And in the second-floor window of the school...
Here's some history of the parish via Wikipedia
The parish was established in 1949. The Rev. V. J. Brosman had a brick church built in 1949 to designs by Voorhees, Walker, Foley & Smith ... for $300,000. The cornerstone was laid in 1950. The church is now covered in ivy. A two-story school building was erected in 1952 to designs by the same architects for $240,000. 
In March 2022, a local church official who was not authorized to speak publicly confirmed that the former church and school would be torn down. The source also told EVG's Stacie Joy that the Archdiocese wanted to "do something positive for the community, perhaps something like affordable housing." 

The Archdiocese previously went the luxury route, selling two former East Village churches for more than $80 million in recent years. 

Developer Douglas Steiner bought the former Mary Help of Christians property on Avenue A at 12th Street in 2012 for $41 million. During the summer of 2013, workers demolished the church, school and rectory to make way for Steiner East Village, the block-long luxury condoplex with an indoor pool. 

In March 2020, Gemini Rosemont, an L.A.-based real-estate investor, bought the former Church of the Nativity property on Second Avenue between Second Street and Third Street for $40 million. The property remains vacant

Previously on EV Grieve:


Scuba Diva said...

Even with the ConEd smokestacks right next door, I'm betting that construction costs will drive this development to become luxury housing. (As a side note, the West Village houses were originally planned to be "affordable" housing.)

OlympiasEpiriot said...

Steiner East still appears rather unoccupied. I've only met one person in the neighborhood who lives there which, for a building of that size and so close to me, is unusual.

I really don't think there is as much as market for "luxury" stuff. I wish the financing and land prices would adjust to reflect that.

JK said...

There does always seem to be multiple listings for it on StreetEasy. Mostly I'm annoyed that the building has been there for 6-7 years(?) now and the ground floor has never been occupied with any tenant. Hardly seems like that is better than the old swap meet that was there.

noble neolani said...

I was hoping this area would be the new "night life" zone. Casino, sports bars and Chucky cheese for the kiddies.

Sarah said...

I'm by that Steiner building with some frequency and I never see anyone coming in or out. And, of course, the ground-floor retail remains a dead zone.

Scuba Diva said...

JK said:

There does always seem to be multiple listings for it on StreetEasy. Mostly I'm annoyed that the building has been there for 6-7 years(?) now and the ground floor has never been occupied with any tenant. Hardly seems like that is better than the old swap meet that was there.

The swap meet was better; I got some treasures there. Also, we lost a priceless church; don't get me wrong, I'm an atheist, but old church architecture is still priceless and never to be built again.

Anonymous said...

@ Scuba Diva — once they start construction they would be hard-pressed to change the nature of the building, as the financing package for an affordable development is based on the type of affordability (tax credits, lower-interest tax-exempt bond-funded mortgage, etc.) They can’t switch gears unless they line up market-rate financing, which would probably make it financially infeasible. The building on the corner of 14th and C — and the buildings farther west on 14th Street housing Target and Trader Joe’s — have “affordable” apartments along with market rate to enable better financing terms, and these are better locations.
I live near here and would love to see the site fully developed at last. While there are some planning negatives, such as Con Ed and the concentration of 100% affordable housing (this is sandwiched between a Section 8 building, Haven Plaza, and NYCHA), adding this number of affordable units would be a real boon. CB3 approved the large development on the corner of 14th and C despite negative impacts on the neighboring buildings so I hope this one, which is much more in context, will get okayed.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Carlina Rivera for opening up the LES to real estate developers erecting luxury housing and doing absolutely nothing to create affordable housing in your district.

Anonymous said...

The article says that both buildings will be 100% affordable housing

Janet said...

570 affordable apartments planned for this site, but don't let that stop your Carlina bashing.

Chris Flash said...

The bigger issue not being addressed here is that organized religions, the catholic church corporation being the largest of them, are in the REAL ESTATE BUSINESS.

They pay NO taxes when they buy their properties, they pay NO taxes while they own their properties and they pay NO taxes when they sell their properties at the peak of hyper-inflated real estate markets.

If it is to be argued that religious groups should be able to enjoy a tax-free status while their properties "serve" the communities they are in, then it is not unreasonable for religious groups to have to pay taxes when they reap huge PROFITS on the sales of their properties, which will no longer "serve" the communities they are in.

This is especially justified as the properties sold by religions incorporated are usually converted to or replaced by "market rate" and "luxury" housing for monied transients invading poorer neighborhoods, displacing long-term residents and businesses.

"de lawd shaw duz work in mysterious ways...."

Frank Morales said...

I made my First Communion and later Confirmation there. My mom tried to get me into their school but they wouldn’t take me so I went to PS34 the first year they opened transferred from PS61 had to do kindergarten twice … which was ok by me!

Sarah said...

570 affordable units would be a welcome development anywhere in the city, though I do agree that it's better to have a *modest* market-rate component to maintain market pressure to keep the place nice.