BSA rejects Brunner’s UWS church conversion plan

Developer planned 34 condo units there

Jun.June 03, 2016 01:37 PM

North Development Group’s planned condominium conversion at the former First Church of Christ, Scientist on the Upper West Side did not get the Board of Standards and Appeals’ blessing.

In rejecting that appeal, officials cited various complications with the structure of the church, its age and its status in the neighborhood, as well as ill will on the part of the developer, who they said several times tried to alter his proposal.

The board’s 3-1 decision to forbid the conversion ends developer Joseph Brunner’s long, turbulent effort to construct 34 luxury condominium units on the church site at 361 Central Park West, New York YIMBY reported.

Brunner bought the 47,000-square-foot property in 2014 from Irene Shapiro, sister of Ira Shapiro, the original developer of the ill-fated One Madison at 23 East 22nd Street. They agreed to a sales price of $42 million, but a lawsuit filed earlier this year revealed that $10 million of that was contingent upon the Shapiro’s successful navigation of the conversion approval process.

Though the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the plan, it was rejected by the Department of Buildings, necessitating an appeal to the BSA. [NY YIMBY]Ariel Stulberg

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