Brooklyn’s Churches Are Quietly Becoming Condos, Luxury Apartments

Photo via Corcoran
Photo via Corcoran

Fair to say this clocks in as a little better than the recent spate of new apartments going directly on top of former churches, and a little worse than Bushwick’s forthcoming $2,000 church apartments: this new Corcoran project, which has transformed a church at 541 Leonard in Greenpoint into a series of condos hitting the market for between $2.3 and $2.5 million. The listing also earnestly notes that the neighborhood “has it all: condos, condos, and more condos for sale and for rent.” Just what we’ve always loved about Greenpoint.

The Daily News makes sure to note that the church was formerly covered in “ugly vinyl,” which is a reasonable point to make: most of the Brooklyn churches being flipped by developers weren’t exactly architectural gems to begin with, and as a borough sometimes known as the “city of churches,” we probably do have a few extra houses of worship to spare. Our borough’s pressing need for more religious institutions isn’t a cause I’m really trying to take up. And then, the fact that people with millions of dollars to drop on relatively small living spaces are willing to pay a crazy premium for “[the combination of] modern finishes with raw awe-inspiring touches of industrial loft space” in unattractive old buildings should maybe have ceased surprising anyone a long time ago. Still, the conversion of spaces that were, ostensibly, intended as free-to-the-public hubs of spiritual enlightenment into maddeningly unaffordable private residences hits a bit of a nerve. Just as it will when, inevitably, developers start doing the exact same thing to hospitals, schools, and anything else they can get their hands on. It’s only a matter of time.

Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.


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