New York’s Collegiate Church Bets Condo Buyer Is The Answer To Their Prayers

But the church may have bet too quickly on providence. The institution, which does business as the Collegiate Church of New York, put the apartment up for sale in March, along with Bond New York, for $3.1 million before suddenly pulling the unit about a month later.

Under state law, large churches, as nonprofits, must obtain court approval before selling real estate. And it never happened, based on legal documents.

But that could change. On Monday, Collegiate filed a petition with the state Supreme Court announcing its intention to sell the luxury apartment, which features a master suite with a walk-in closet and a kitchen with granite countertops, one arm from the church called Collegiate Asset Management Corp. The sale price would be around 3 million dollars. Collegiate Asset Management would then find a buyer for the unit and send the profits, if any, to the church.

In 2013, Collegiate paid $2.3 million for the apartment, according to filings.

Settlement of “debts” is the motivation for the sale, according to the petition, which adds that “the consideration will provide funds and space to enable the church to continue its own corporate religious activities.”

The cash injection comes as the church struggles to rebuild one of its places of worship. In December 2020, a massive fire engulfed the Middle Collegiate Church, at Second Avenue and East Seventh Street, an 1867 landmark that was one of four Collegiate sites in Manhattan. Only the facade has survived, erected like a movie set.

Earlier this year, Collegiate announced it would rebuild, but must raise $15 million by 2024 to do so, according to church documents. Middle Collegiate can also leverage $16.5 million in insurance products and $2 million in funds raised so far. The new Middle Collegiate building will have a sanctuary, broadcast studio, and classrooms.

Messages left with church officials were not returned. Lawyers for the church did not respond to emails and requests for comment. And Shana Allen, Bond’s agent who owned the apartment this spring before tearing it down, declined to comment.

In 1696, shortly after the British took control of New York, King William III of England issued the charter which established the Collegiate Church.

Jerry B. Hatch