Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ridgewood Church Listed for Sale

By Conor Greene

The 103-year-old United Presbyterian Church of Ridgewood was recently placed on the market, leaving preservationists and residents are concerned about its future.

Adjacent properties at 62-54 and 62-56 60th Place is currently listed with Massey Knakal for $1.8 million. According to the company, the combined properties include a 12,868-square foot church building and a two-story single-family home. The site has about 127 feet of frontage on 60th Place and “could be utilized ei- ther as part of the community facility or re-developed as a residential rental or condo/co-op project.”

The two combined lots have about 23,721 feet of buildable square feet for residential uses and approximately 35,142 buildable square feet for community use. “The entire property may be delivered vacant upon closing, making it ideal for a user, investor or developer,” the listing notes.

According to the Lost City blog, which posted an entry on the listing, the congregation dates back to 1862, when the First Presbyterian Church of East Willibamsburgh met in a little wooden church on the property. The existing building is in the Renaissance-style and features stained glass windows made in France. It was dedicated on May 22, 1910, with a congregation of 500 plus 750 Sunday school pupils.

The United Presbyterian Church of Ridgewood was formed after merging in October 1993 with the St. James United Presbyterian Church.

Word of the real estate listing led to a flurry of e-mails between resident Christina Wilkinson and Community Board 5. Some light was shed on the situation when Ridgewood civic leader and CB 5 member Paul Kerzner wrote that he has been aware of this listing for the past month or so.

“I have been working with the pastor since early last fall to put together a plan to build senior housing on the site, while preserving the edifice and an interior chapel for this church,” wrote Kerzner. “I’ll know by the end of May whether we were successful.”

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