Developer Wants You To Buy All Their Bushwick Real Estate So They Can Afford To Turn A Church Into Luxury Apartments

Perfect spot for a $3,000 apartment.

Perfect spot for a $3,000 apartment.

So, A+ news for any of you burgeoning real estate tycoons out there who also happen to have $14 million kicking around. And I guess for free market capitalists and jerks with unlimited funds who don’t really care where they live?

While it’s not exactly “half of Bushwick,” as Bushwick Daily puts it, it is a pretty staggering amount of prime neighborhood real estate that’s about to hit the market courtesy of Cayuga Capital, one of Bushwick’s earliest and most successful property investors.

Real Deal reports that the company, which has been quietly accumulating buildings in the area over the course of the past decade, is selling off a 90 percent interest in their seven building stake in the neighborhood, to the tune of $14 million. Properties in the portfolio include buildings at 36 Wilson Avenue, 369 Menahan Street, 1399 Greene Avenue, and 297 and 311 Troutman Street.

The decision was partially driven by the neighborhood’s current real estate desirability. Or, as David Behin of MNS, the brokerage firm representing Cayuga put it, “Bushwick is like Williamsburg on crack.” So, unstable, in crippling disrepair, and a bad investment? Or I guess that’s not what people mean when they make crack jokes these days. “Williamsburg took 10, 11 years for it to get to where it is now — you had to cross a river,” Behin explains. “You just have to go three, four [subway] stops down” to move the whole operation on out to Bushwick. Oh.

Anyway, the idea here is to raise funds to pay back Cayuga’s initial investors and create cash flow for a planned 99-apartment development at St. Marks Lutheran Church on Bushwick Ave., once a beloved arts and event space (and I suppose, house of worship and general source of refuge). Studios in the new space would go for $1,900 and two-bedrooms for $2,750.

I don’t know if it does a whole lot of good to tear into Cayuga for this—they had the insight to invest early and are now doing everything the market, our mayor, and our current social mores would dictate they do with this windfall—but then, the idea of putting $2,000 studios in a space where artists and actual religious types used to congregate and enjoy themselves free of charge does land pretty heavy. Maybe not quite as heavy as comparing your lucrative real estate holdings to a devastating drug epidemic, but still. It’s a lot.

Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.

3 Comment

  • What farm did these people live on before coming here? “Williamsburg took 10, 11 years for it to get to where it is now — you had to cross a river,” Behin explains. 10-11 years? It took way longer than that. In 1992 lots of my friends were starting to cross the bridge from the East Village for cheaper rents. And the first wave of gentrification in Bushwick began in 2000. Here we are 13 years later. It will begin to move rapidly. The issue with gentrifying Bushwick is the way it’s laid out. ENtire neighborhoods were skipped over & now they’re going backward to snatch up the ones that are beginning to show real value. I refuse to list them out in detail, because I don’t want to help anyone ruin another another neighborhood faster.

  • Cayuga Capital is a horrible management company. I moved out of my Cayuga-managed property to Bushwick right before they bought this church and was quite upset to see their name in my new neighborhood. They’re money-hungry (of course) ass holes who cheat & screw over their tenants. Just a little FYI.

    • How can they build into a residential apartment building with a four-story addition on top of the pre-existing church structure????? It’s incredible! To convert St. Marks Lutheran Church into 99 (pricey) apartments is really strange and just disgusting!