Managing Director of Commercial Division
More than 40 years ago, when the Nativity Mission Center opened a private middle school for disadvantaged but promising children at 204 Forsyth St., its Lower East Side neighborhood was a pretty rough place.
But the area has gentrified to the point that the Archdiocese of New York is now selling the property, most likely to a developer who will build a mixed-use residential and retail building.
Meanwhile, the Jesuit boys school will relocate to a more needy area-possibly in the South Bronx or Queens-where it will be closer to students more likely to go to the private school which is mostly tuition free and run mostly on donations.
In the past few years, bars, art galleries and a Whole Foods Market mushroomed on a block which was previously notorious for drug dealers, prostitutes, and gangs.
"Today, there are more French bulldogs in the neighborhood than boys who qualify for the federal free lunch program," says Rev. Jack Podsiadlo, president of the Nativity Mission Center.
Last month, the Nativity Mission Center sold its 2,500 square-feet of recreation space for $1.7 million to an investor listed in city property records as 206 Forsyth Street LLC.
According to the school's administrators, the same investor is also looking to buy the five-story school building, which is listed by Kervin Vales of Halstead Property for $4.7 million, up from a previously asking price of $3.5 million.
"If I had the money I would build here a condo myself," jokes Danny Perez, principal of the Nativity Mission Center, when asked about the possible future of the school, which he attended, too, until 1998.
Sunday, April 29, 2012