Historic church up for sale.
Regency Capital Realty and Cushman & Wakefield have announced a contract for sale of First Church of Christ, Scientist, at One W. 96th St. The building has been bought by another religious organization, the Los Angeles-based Crenshaw Christian Center, for $14 million.
Built in the early 1900's and designed by Carrere & Hastings in a Beaux-Arts style, the building contains a total of 48,000 s/f, including a 14,000 s/f below grade space that can be used for assemblies and receptions. It has been designated as a historic landmark and is listed on the National Historic Register.
Over the past several years, the Upper West Side church has been regularly rented to various institutions, some of which had expressed interest in purchasing the property. The potential buyers included charitable foundations, private schools and universities, as well as some "high profile private individuals."
According to the members of the board of trustees of the First Church of Christ, their organization is consolidating at another location and would like to use the money from the sale to start a new endowment fund.
"We are selling our church in order that we my be more involved in church outreach work, rather than maintaining a historic building. We have owned an extraordinary facility for almost a century and we no longer have the need for such a large space," said Catherine Byers in an official statement.
Barbara Stone, of Regency Capital Realty, and Richard Baxter and Nathaniel Rockett, of Cushman & Wakefield, represented both parties in the transaction.
"The church is architecturally magnificent and dominates a major corridor on the Upper West Side, directly opposite Central Park West," said Stone. "To ensure that this opportunity was provided to a broad range of prominent user groups, our team structured and implemented a well-targeted and broad-based marketing campaign. This was a significant offering and we received a flood of activity from religious organizations and charitable and cultural institutions in need of expansion space."
The transaction marks the first sale in the building's history.