Another local landmark is reportedly on the market.
Dyker Heights’ Angel Guardian Home – a once-orphanage owned and operated by the Sisters of Mercy – is said to be up for sale.
The 140,000-square-foot space – located at 6301 12th Avenue – was built in 1902, according to city records, and served as an extension of the Convent of Mercy, housing hundreds of orphans and eventually acting as a formal adoption agency until the 1970s.
In 2003, the Angel Guardian Home merged with St. Mary’s of the Angels Home to form the MercyFirst network of agencies. Today, the campus – which spans the entire block – houses the offices for the Sisters’ foster care program as well as a senior center.
With its history in mind, the sale of the Angel Guardian Home is one locals hope goes smoothly, and into the right hands.
“With the sale of the Angel Guardian Home by the Sisters of Mercy, the residents of Dyker Heights will be losing a landmark institution,” contended Assemblymember Peter Abbate. “The building has been in use for over 100 years and the sale of the land will mean the community will go through some changes.
“The land, which consists of a full city block, is very valuable and I wish the Sisters well in their sale process,” Abbate went on. “My hope is that all interested parties will work hard to ensure that the property maintains its purpose as a force of good in the community.”
Fran Vella-Marrone, president of the Dyker Heights Civic Association, agreed.
“The Angel Guardian Home has been there for over 100 years and it’s really been somewhat of a community landmark,” said Vella-Marrone, noting that, while the grounds are certainly beautiful, she can understand that upkeep must be expensive, and that the sale will probably earn the Sisters a pretty penny. “My hope is that whatever is built there – assuming that whoever is going to purchase the Angel Guardian Home is going to build something different – is built consistent with the surrounding community, and that it’s not something that’s out of place.
“I hope that it is something that adheres to what’s there in the community now,” she went on. “This is a heavily residential community and anything that should be build there should be consistent with the area of Dyker Heights.”
“This is what happens when you don’t have serious protection for the community, and you don’t have landmarking,” said local resident and preservationist Bob Cassara. “People were against doing any sort of landmarking in the community, and this is what you end up with. You end up being unable to control what happens to the homes, and to the nice things in our community.”
Given the site’s R5B zoning, buyers could potentially build up to three stories in height. Homes built there could be detached, attached or semi-attached.
“A site like this is very rare within the marketplace,” noted Tim King, founder of CPEX Real Estate, “and it’s a site that will attract attention from lots of developers.”
When asked to estimate its value, King guessed that the site will trade or sell in “some range of $25 million to $30 million.”
MercyFirst referred a call on the subject to the Sisters of Mercy who had not responded to this news outlet’s request for information by publication time.
This story has been updated to include commentary from Tim King, founder of CPEX Real Estate.