By Sarah Trefethen
The General Theological Seminary has sold nearly $100 million in Chelsea property to a residential developer in the past year, and some say the deals aren’t over yet.
City records show the Brodsky Organization last week closed on a $18.5 deal to purchase the property at 445 West 20thStreet from the seminary, its third major purchase from the church.
It also secured development rights and an easement agreement on the the Desmond Tutu Conference Center, the Seminary’s 60-room convention center on 10th Avenue.
In April, the developer bought three brick townhouses that served as faculty housing for a total of $30 million, and in July it purchased former Seminary dormitories at 422 West 20th street for $48 million.
The dorms are being renovated into 1, 2, and 3-bedroom condos expected to be completed this summer. Residences range in size from 600 square feet to 1,640 s/f and are priced from approximately $640,000 to $2,050,000.
Brodsky has secured a total of 441,600 s/f in floor area development rights from the seminary to date, according to public records.
The seminary is reportedl also selling a parcel of land on Ninth Avenue to Brodsky which currently holds a 99-year lease on the land where it build the luxury condominium Chelsea Enclave in partnership with the Seminary in 2009.
According to reports at that time, that project was intended to generate $15 million that the Seminary needs to restore and maintain its 19th century buildings, which are badly deteriorated because maintenance has long been deferred.
The Seminary’s agreement with the Brodsky Organization guaranteed that G.T.S. would receive the $15 million in return for Brodsky’s control of the residential and commercial income from the project.
The Wall Street Journal reported last February that the Seminary hoped the real estate deals would allow it to eliminate $41 million of debt and to rejuvenate its depleted endowment fund.