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Developer Purchases East 83rd Street Church

st elizabeth church east 83rd street

(Google Maps)

A Brooklyn-based developer is in contract to buy an Upper East Side church and its rectory for $11.8 million.

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It isn’t completely clear what builder Robert Saffayeh plans to do with the Church of St. Elizabeth of Hungary at 213 East 83rd Street (between Second and Third avenues), but according to Crain’s New York Business, zoning will allow for a structure of up to seven stories. The 11,700 square foot church has four floors.

Due to low attendance, St. Elizabeth’s congregation was relocated to The Church of St. Monica at 413 East 79th Street (between First and York avenues) in 2015 at the instruction of Cardinal Dolan. (St. Stephen’s had also moved  from their previous location on East 82nd Street to the 79th Street church).

The year before, a petition had been launched to save the 83rd Street site.

Dear Cardinal Dolan:

For the spiritual needs of the parishioners of St. Elizabeth of Hungary including its deaf community, I ask that you revoke your Decree of November 2, 2014 so that Masses and sacraments can continue to be celebrated on a regular weekly basis at the present church site of 211 East 83rd Street in the borough of Manhattan in the city of New York.

This is not the developer’s first church site acquisition; he purchased the Church of the Holy Family in Park Slope for $11.3 million in 2022 and has since been approved to construct a 28-unit building in its place.

According to Crain’s, this will be the developer’s first Manhattan project.

Per Daytonian in Manhattan, the 83rd Street church was constructed during the 1860s.


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  1. t-bo April 25, 2024

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