The Real Deal New York

Riverside Church buys Union Theological Seminary dorm for $47M

BCN Development previously planned to buy property at 97-101 Claremont Avenue
By Eddie Small | October 19, 2018 05:49PM

The Riverside Church’s Rev. Dr. Amy Butler and 97-101 Claremont Avenue (Credit: The Riverside Church and Google Maps)

UPDATED, 9:53 a.m. Oct. 23: A Morningside Heights property that previously looked like it would go to a developer is now officially going to a church.

Riverside Church has purchased 97-101 Claremont Avenue in Morningside Heights from the Union Theological Seminary for $46.5 million, according to property records. The seminary had been using the property as a dormitory.

Craig Nassi of BCN Development was reportedly in contract for the 82-unit, 90,000-square-foot property earlier this year for more than $50 million, but that deal fell through after the church stepped in and leaned on a restriction John D. Rockefeller had imposed that gave them a first right of offer to buy the building.

The dorm is known as McGiffert Hall, and it will be leased back to the Seminary for five years as part of the deal. Riverside Church went in contract for the building in September.

Representatives for Riverside Church, BCN and the Seminary did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Union Theological Seminary was represented by Savills Studley’s Ira Schuman and Richard Eaddy, while Riverside Church was represented by Cushman & Wakefield’s Frank Liantonio.

Riverside Church is an interdenominational church located at 490 Riverside Drive, right across the street from 97-101 Claremont Avenue.

Other recent deals in the area include the Orbach Group’s sale of five buildings on Manhattan Avenue and West 108th Street for $57 million and Dalan Management and Elion Partners’ purchase of 2568 Broadway at West 97th Street for $66 million.

This story has been updated with additional information about the sale.