Yet another nonprofit is responding to the siren song of the New York City real estate market by listing their headquarters. This time, The New York Foundling, an agency that assists underserved children, families, and adults with disabilities, put their 27 Christopher Street outpost on the market for a whopping $47.5 million. The 145-year-old agency has occupied the property at the corner of Christopher Street and Waverly Place since 2002, when the charity bought the building for just $3 million. The nonprofit's president and chief executive told the Journal that rather than investing millions in a much needed renovation of the 1911 structure, the agency has decided to use the (very large sum of) proceeds of the sale for new programs for children, especially those who need support aging out of foster care.
What will happen to the Foundling building? Superbroker Dolly Lenz believes it will either sell to foreign royalty or an American billionaire, despite the building's deed restriction that it be used for health care purposes until 2016.
Like Hale House and the Center for Fiction before it, the Foundling is part of a larger movement amongst nonprofits seeking to garner additional funds when the market is right to support their endeavors. Harlem's Hale House headquarters, a five-story townhouse on West 122nd Street, is on the market seeking $2.495 million. Similarly, late last year, United Cerebral Palsy of New York City sold its East 23rd Street headquarters to Toll Brothers for $135 million, while God's Love We Deliver sold air rights to a neighboring development. The Children's Aid Society has also been moving a lot of their prized real estate to fund programs, most notably the lots on Sullivan Street which, since sold for $33 million, have been converted into 25 luxury homes. Just one of the development's four townhouses is on the market for $13.25 million, nearly half of what the Children's Aid Society garnered for the sale of the property.
As WSJ points out, Greenwich Village is no longer a high-poverty neighborhood. The charitable institutions that grew themselves there are no longer needed by its residents.
· Charity Seeks $47.5 Million for Building [WSJ]
· Nonprofits With Sought-After Buildings Take Advantage of a Hot Market [NYT]
· New York Foundling [official]
· Center For Fiction Wants to Sell Its Headquarters for $18 Million [Curbed]