The Real Deal New York

Tribeca building owner aims to double money

Former church listed for $18 million two weeks after being purchased for half that

June 27, 2011 03:06PM
By Adam Pincus

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From left to right: Michael Kirchmann, Maria Pashby, Joanna Pashby, interior of 177 Franklin Street; facade 177 Franklin Street

The new owner of a former church-owned site in Tribeca has listed the property for $18 million– twice as much as he paid for it two weeks ago.

Corcoran agents Maria Pashby and Joanna Pashby listed the seven-story loft building at 177 Franklin Street three days ago, as Curbed.com first reported. City property records posted today show that Glad Tidings Tabernacle sold the building on June 13 for $9 million to a company affiliated with architect Michael Kirchmann.

Kirchmann is the founder and CEO of Soho-based architectural and planning firm Global Design Strategies, and co-owner Praxis Development. He told The Real Deal he plans to either flip the property or develop it through Praxis into a townhouse or into three or four very high-end luxury duplex condominiums.

The 1890, 25-foot masonry building is in the Tribeca West Historic District, which was designated by the city as a landmark area in 1991.

Broker Karen Dome of Justdan Realty represented the seller, while Peter Comitini, a senior vice president at Corcoran Group, brought the buyer in the sale, Comitini said.

The sale appears to represent a financial blow to Glad Tidings, based near City Hall, which bought the property in January 2008 for $11.5 million, city records reveal. The church had sold its former home, a Romanesque Revival building at 325-327 West 33rd Street, for $31 million.

It then filed plans for a one-story penthouse addition, façade improvements and a six-foot tall cross, Downtown Express reported in 2009, thought the construction were never completed.

Kirchmann, through his 177 Franklin Street Developments, signed a contract to buy the building in February and closed earlier this month, the city documents show.

The difference between the sale price and the asking price is not simply a much-improved market, Kirchmann said. He spent money finishing up construction — now virtually complete — and clearing mechanic’s liens and building violations.

“We brought it back to a point where it is actually tradable,” he said. His asking price is about $1,450 per square foot. “The repositioned property is being presented to the market as a flexible offering.”

Carl Keyes, president of Glad Tidings, did not respond to a request for comment.

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