The Real Deal New York

Historic Borough Park synagogue sold to developer won’t be demolished — for now

Chevra Anshei Lubawitz remains standing under judge's order
August 25, 2017 10:21AM

Borough Park’s oldest synagogue at 4050 12th Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

Borough Park’s oldest synagogue will get the chance to stick around for at least a little bit longer.

A judge in Brooklyn has temporarily blocked the demolition of Chevra Anshei Lubawitz, located at 12th Avenue and 41st Street, which developer Moses Karpen had planned to tear down and replace with a six-story apartment building, according to the New York Daily News. The synagogue would pay $3 million for the basement and first floor of the building and use it as a temple.

Karpen bought the building on June 14 for $3.1 million, but 17 members of the synagogue have said that they did not find out about the sale until days after it happened and that the building was not put on the open market before being sold to Karpen, a friend of a board member. Critics also say it was sold for at least $1 million less than its value.

Attorney Scott Mollen, who represented the synagogue’s leadership backing the sale, told the Daily News that the board had the property appraised and talked to several developers before selling.

“The congregation wanted to make sure that they were dealing with a developer that they had confidence in and was highly respected,” he said.

The synagogue opened in 1914, and while the board claims it badly needs repairs, opponents of the sale maintain that it is still in good condition. [NYDN] – Eddie Small