C.A.S. to sell two Sullivan buildings to condo developer

By Albert Amateau

The Children’s Aid Society has agreed to sell two Sullivan St. properties that are home to the Philip Coltoff Center in the South Village for $33 million to Broad Street Development, which plans to convert the historic buildings to residential condos.

Children’s Aid, which has been in the Village for 119 years, announced last December its intention to sell the buildings at 209-219 Sullivan St. in order to fulfill its mission to serve the neediest children living in poverty.

The sale does not include the society’s annex at 177 Sullivan St., which is still on the market.

Richard Buery, president and C.E.O. of Children’s Aid, said on Tues., May 25, that the society would continue to provide nursery school programs at the Coltoff Center for currently enrolled children and their siblings until June 2012. During that time, C.A.S. will continue to enroll children in the toddler, acting and after-school programs on Sullivan St. on a semester-by-semester basis, according to demand and capacity.

The two buildings are located between W. Third and Bleecker Sts. The older of the two structures at 219 Sullivan St. was designed by Calvert Vaux and has been the home of C.A.S. since the late 19th century. The society has occupied the building at 209 Sullivan St. since 1936.

“We’re pleased that we could find a buyer for these properties that will help preserve the character and beauty of the neighborhood,” Buery said.

Broad Street Development’s partner, Raymond Chalmé, said, “B.S.D. plans a sensitive redevelopment that reflects the historic site and maintains the character of the neighborhood, resulting in approximately 60,000 square feet of condominium residences.”

The Sullivan St. project will be Broad Street’s second in the South Village, having converted 184 Thompson St. between Houston and Bleecker Sts. into 140 apartments in 2009.

In addition to the Thompson St. condo, Broad Street Development built the 31-story Maison East on Third Ave at 81st St. with 100 condos.

“We’re thrilled at the opportunity to work with this amazing piece of property and make a significant contribution to the neighborhood through sensitive design, quality construction, restoration and excellent redevelopment,” Chalmé said.

However, Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, said on Tuesday that he regretted that the C.A.S. properties were not protected by historic district designation.

“It’s tragic that the Landmarks Preservation Commission did not move forward to designate the South Village Historic District and left preservation of these buildings to the whim of the developer,” Berman said.

Buery said the decision to sell “was driven by the Children’s Aid Society’s need to focus our finite resources on New York City’s neediest children first.”

C.A.S. opened an “industrial school” — equivalent to a vocational school — in the Village in 1891 to serve the large immigrant population.

The sale’s proceeds will help support the work of C.A.S. in high-need communities in the South Bronx, Washington Heights, northern Staten Island, Harlem and East Harlem, places, Buery said, “where these resources can have a significant and transformative impact.

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