General Seminary Closes on Gateway Restructuring Transaction
March 30, 2011
Closing Paves Way for Completing Revitalization Plan
New York City--The Rev. Lang Lowrey, Interim President of the General Theological Seminary (GTS), announced today that ownership of the Seminary’s residential property on West 20th Street known as Chelsea 2,3,4 was transferred on March 30 to The Brodsky Organization. This transaction is the latest in a continued and successful working relationship between the two organizations that started with the development of the Chelsea Enclave, a building that will house GTS’s new Keller Library. The mutually beneficial relationship also will result in Brodsky renovating a large portion of GTS’s campus while helping to address GTS’s financial needs as well as improvements to the neighborhood through the preservation and renovation of the acquired historic buildings.
The closing on the property followed the February approvals by the New York State Attorney General and the Supreme Court. The sale involves the first of four properties the Seminary will sell to The Brodsky Organization as part of the school’s Plan to Choose Life, a comprehensive financial undertaking designed to eliminate nearly all of the Seminary’s debt, restore its endowment, create a balanced budget, and revitalize its mission.
“This is a gateway transaction and an important milestone because so many of the legal and financial details that were finalized pave the way for the next three closings, a new bridge loan and leveraging the Tutu center to rebuild our endowment,” said President Lowrey, referring to the upcoming sale of the apartment building at 422 West 20th Street, the Seminary’s multi-use property known as West Building, and land it owns on West 20th Street where a tennis court now stands. All the properties are included in a sales contract between the Seminary and The Brodsky Organization. The proceeds from this first sale have enabled GTS to repay with interest the $2.7 million the school borrowed from its own endowment and the $5.3 million bridge loan taken out to fund this year’s operations. In addition this sale allows GTS to fund $8 million to increase the number of on-campus dormitories and to create new offices in the Seabury building adjacent to the seminary entrance. The sale will also trigger the release of funds that had been held as collateral but are part of a generous gift earmarked for the completion of the Seminary’s new Keller Library. The next closing, on the 422 West 20th Street property, is expected to take place early this summer.