NYU cleared to buy church from Archdiocese

New York /
Dec.December 29, 2008 07:21 PM

New York University has won approval to purchase a long-sought-after church property owned by the Archdiocese of New York on the south side of Washington Square Park for $25 million.

The school had wanted to purchase the building, known as the Catholic Center at New York University, at 58 Washington Square South, at Thompson Street in Greenwich Village, for years.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Martin Schoenfeld gave his approval for the sale of the 21,639-square-foot building on a 12,622-square-foot parcel on Dec. 24, according to court records published Monday.

NYU has been expanding. Just this month, the school snapped up a 10-story building at 726 Broadway, between Waverly and Washington places, for $210 million.

A developer bought the Catholic Church’s St. Ann’s Church at 124 East 12th Street for $15 million in December 2004, a site which is being converted to a 26-story dormitory building for the university.

NYU spokesperson John Beckman said the site would not be used for dormitories.

“The site will be used for multi-faith and academic purposes, and there will continue to be a Catholic presence there,” he said in an email. “It will not be used for student housing.”

He said there remained several procedural steps before the sale was completed.

The Archdiocese was not immediately available for comment.

The New York Times reported that the university tried to buy the parcel in the 1990s as part of the development of a student complex, but the deal fell through. The school built the center next door.

The court must approve the sale of property by non-profits and religious organizations.


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