Brooklyn’s Churches Are Quietly Becoming Condos, Luxury Apartments

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.

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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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