Wealthy New Yorkers have been increasingly captivated by the megamansion trend seizing the city’s uber-rich, so when two neighboring Gramercy townhouses hit the market in June it seemed almost certain that the former missionary buildings would give way to another gigantic single-family dwelling. But the two townhouses at 236 and 238 East 15th Street between Second and Third avenues just sold, and the new owner, refreshingly, isn’t planning anything of the sort.
A representative for Compass has confirmed to Curbed that the new owner plans to convert one of the houses into a private residence, and the other into student housing. Of course, the new owner isn’t beholden to this plan and is entitled to change their mind. The sale has yet to hit public record but the properties were last priced at $18.8 million. The townhouses sold in an all-cash deal, which isn’t all that surprising given that cash is still king in the Manhattan sales market.
The townhouses have been owned for the past 60-some years by The Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who decided to sell the 15,600-square-foot properties to fund their charitable efforts and to support the few remaining nuns that make up the organization. Membership at the missionary has wained in recent years, with many nuns relocating to the Bronx.