Two listings today - one in the South Slope & one in Sunset Park.
At 161 16th Street (Fourth/Fifth), a single family townhouse, listed at $675,000. A townhouse in this area for this price, you might wonder? Well yes, of course, there has to be a catch or two. This is an exceedingly small building (14' x 25') on an exceedingly small lot (14' x 25'). Exactly! The house comes without even a handkerchief sized patch of dirt, as it directly abuts the parking lot for both the adjacent condo building & another on 15th Street. A group of similar rowhouses (broken by a gated entrance to the lot) share a common fate. The valiant IMBY wrote about remodeled 157 back in 2011, and you can see its 2 1/2 storey floorplan & some construction horror pics. here.
161 sold this October for $450,000, and has been flipped without renovation. Later that month it was listed at $799,000, and since then it has slipped incrementally to $749, $700, and now its current price. According to the broker (Keller Williams) it's "Ideal for Someone Who is Looking For More Benefits Than A Condo Can Offer."
This week there was plenty of holy demolition news. The Church of the Redeemer (Fourth & Pacific) will be placed on the market for $17,000,000 & the grand Fox Savoy Cinema in Crown Heights - currently operating as a church - just sold for a suspiciously piddling $575,000. Both sales are to include provision for new church premises within apartment developments. Meanwhile, out of the news entirely, a tiny church on a Sunset Park side street has been listed for sale:
"Investor's opportunity! – Excellent investment opportunity in the heart of Sunset Park! The property is currently being used as a church facility but has great potential for many different uses or for condo conversion. Features: a full basement with 2 bathrooms, central heating & Air conditioning, backyard, 2 parking spaces. Zoned R6b. "
The listing price for the building, at 416 46th Street, is $1,049,00, and the date of its construction is said to be 1909. At present the church on site is the Pentacostal El Camino.
When I saw this building (surely all wood, despite the brickfacing), I figured it had to have something of an interesting past, and its sober austerity made me think it could be Scandinavian. Bingo! A little simplistic digging about revealed that the Salem Swedish Lutheran Church worshipped here in the early part of the twentieth century. The Salem Church was founded in 1904, and early services were held on Prospect Avenue near Third, but at a date unknown (to me at any rate) the congregation moved to 46th Street, and stayed there until 1945, when they left for a bigger church on 67th Street. (You can see a picture of what is probably the original church on Prospect Avenue here.) Last services were held at 67th Street in January of 2010, and the church was subsequently sold to St. Matthews.
If this building was built in 1909, I'm guessing it was built especially for its newly arrived Swedish congregation, but became quickly outgrown as the community expanded & prospered. The other possibility is that the Swedish settlers took over from another Scandinavian community who had already moved on up to a bigger home of brick or stone. I'll get in touch with the East Coast Museum for more information. Maybe they'll have pictures of it in earlier days.
I hope the building meets a kind fate.