Sections

Catholic Charities aims to turn Angel Guardian Home into senior housing

Home sweet home: Dyker Heights’ sprawling Angel Guardian Home could become low-income housing for seniors.
Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

Call them guardian angels.

Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens aims to buy Dyker Heights’ sprawling Angel Guardian Home from the Sisters of Mercy and dice-up the property into low-income housing for seniors, according to a rep with the Sisters of Mercy Mid-Atlantic Community. The nuns operated an orphanage there until the 1970s, but are mulling a sale to the organization because they can no longer afford to maintain the massive grounds, said one sister.

“Catholic Charities is in the process of forming an agreement with the Sisters of Mercy and intends to convert the property into senior housing with services,” said Sister Margaret Dempsey. “But I think it’s important to note that our work continues. The building is too expensive for us to keep up, but we’re not closing — we’re relocating.”

The Sisters of Mercy opened the orphanage at the turn of the 20th century, and over the years they found homes for hundreds of Brooklyn youths — including one of this paper’s photographers — until it closed in the 1970s. Currently, the campus houses sister organization Mercy First’s foster care program and the Narrows Senior Center, which is run by Catholic Charities.

Catholic Charities’ housing branch, the Progress of Peoples Development and Management Corporations, would convert the lot into housing for seniors. And it’s likely that some of the senior center’s services would continue — contrary to concerns that it would be booted sometime this year — said Dempsey.

“They run elder care there — like senior day care — so I think they’re going to keep that going,” she said.

Mercy First is slated to relocate later this year, according to Dempsey.

Now the nuns plan to move their offices into Sunset Park’s Industry City, while Catholic Charities would take over the campus bounded between 12th and 13th avenues and 63rd and 64th streets — roughly the size of three football fields.

The lot is zoned for rowhouses, meaning housing on the land could be built up to three stories, city records show. And that’s exactly what happened when the nuns sold a patch of land on the other side of 64th Street in 1989 — the developer built row houses there a year later, according to city records.

Catholic Charities did not respond to requests for comment.

Some locals feared the sprawling grounds could follow the fate of the Mount Manresa Jesuit Retreat House in bucolic Staten Island — then one of the city’s largest undeveloped private swaths of land — which was sold to a condo developer for $15 million in 2013 despite vehement opposition from pols and residents.

But Catholic Charities’ interest in the property for low-income, senior housing puts some locals at ease.

“Well I tell you, that’d be a relief if they buy it,” said long-time Dyker Heights resident George Capodagli. “My wife and I were convinced some swanky developer was going to come in here and build condos or something.”

The sale is not final, but Catholic Charities is the only group the Sisters of Mercy are in talks with to buy the lot, and negotiations seem “promising,” according to a rep with the Sisters of Mercy Mid-Atlantic Community. Capodagli takes that as a good sign.

“Sounds like they’re swooping into save the day,” he said. “Whenever something this large goes up for sale everyone wants in, so it makes people nervous. But with a name like Catholic Charities how bad could what they’re planning be? We’ll see, I guess.”

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at cspivack@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2523. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.
Updated 3:28 am, March 22, 2017
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Ace from Bath Beach says:
We just walked by there on Sunday. I'd love to see the grounds especially before any thing new is built.

hint hint

http://www.ohny.org/
March 22, 2017, 10:40 am
MJ from Bay Ridge says:
good idea
March 22, 2017, 11:40 am
Sean F from Bensonhurst says:
I've been going by there since I was a kid. Always wanted to hit lottery and own that property.
March 22, 2017, 10:25 pm
Virilio from Brooklyn says:
Wonderful
March 25, 2017, 1:38 pm
Eileen R from Guilderland, NY says:
I started my social work career at Angel Guardian Home in 1980 placing foster children with wonderful families in Brooklyn, Queens and LI. I have worked in elder care for almost 30 years- Angel Guardian senior housing would make me smile.
Aug. 26, 2017, 7:05 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!