Developer inks 49-year lease for Greenpoint Catholic school

Brooklyn firm will convert building to rental apartments
By Adam Pincus | June 07, 2013 09:30AM

Updated, 2:25 p.m., Friday: A Brooklyn development firm signed a 49-year lease with St. Cecilia’s Roman Catholic Church in Greenpoint where it plans to convert a former school building and a smaller structure into 84 residential apartments, city records show.

The Williamsburg developer Seventeen Monitor LLC will pay an annual rent that starts at $1.2 million and that rises to $3.2 million in year 46, according to documents filed with the State Supreme Court in Brooklyn. A state court judge approved the lease in January, in accordance with a state law that requires court approval for religious organizations that seek to sell or lease real estate.

The lease covers four properties, including the former school at 17 Monitor Street, on a block shared with St. Cecilia’s. The lease started March 11 and runs through March 31, 2062, city property records filed May 28 show. The same lease gives the developer a right of first refusal to purchase the property.

The developer has filed plans to convert two of the buildings into residential apartments, city Department of Buildings records show. The largest is the 49,685-square-foot 17 Monitor Street, which is expected to be converted into 69 residential apartments with no change in the size of the building, according to an application filed by Yoel Werzberger, a manager of Seventeen Monitor.

The other building with conversion plans on file was 21 Monitor Street, a three-story building which they propose to convert to a 15-unit apartment building. No permit applications are on file yet for the remaining properties, a three-story building at 211 Richardson Street and a two-story building at 215 Richardson Street, a review of DOB records shows.

The property was marketed by a team from commercial brokerage HFF, which did not respond to a request for comment. The Diocese of Brooklyn, speaking on behalf of the church, declined to comment, saying it did not discuss real estate deals.