A recent WSJ article revealed that the General Theological Seminary in Chelsea has agreed to sell three of its buildings and some land to NY developer, The Brodsky Organization for $47.5 Million. Brodsky is also buying the land on 9th Avenue where they built the luxury residential building “The Chelsea Enclave” in 2009 and had originally entered into a 99-year lease causing the units to be condops vs. condominiums. Owning the land the building sits on may improve Chelsea Enclave values further. The purchase will include two townhouses, a building currently used for administrative purposes as well as another used for student housing.
Brodsky intends to return the townhouses to single-family use, convert the other buildings to condominiums and constructing a new building on what is now tennis courts. The developer estimates that the West buildings will be luxury units with an average price of $2.8M each while the student housing conversion (on 20th Street) will have apartments valued at $1 Million or under.
The Chelsea Seminary was founded in 1817. The sale is due to recent declines in enrollment and a need to free itself of $41 Million in debt. This block is cherished by many in West Chelsea for its historic and “Old London” feel with full grown trees and public green space.
At the time that the Chelsea Enclave was planned, the Seminary requested permission for a 17-story condo to be built on 9th Avenue requesting a variance from Landmarks due to its financial need. That effort was blocked by historic preservationists. In a twist of irony, what was preserved is now being sold for more condos. However, I would expect that Brodksy would build with an eye on keeping the green space to maximize its condo values on the location. A very unique location and development.