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St. Sebastian’s in Woodside to Sell 1/2 Acre Playground Site, Development Likely

Playground area next to St. Sebastian’s Catholic Academy (Photo: St. Sebastian’s)

Oct. 16, 2020 By Christian Murray

St. Sebastian’s, a Woodside parish saddled in debt, is selling a large piece of vacant land located next to the Catholic school.

The property, which has an address of 39-53 57th St., is listed for sale for $6.25 million and is being marketed by the brokerage firm Cushman & Wakefield as a development site.

“The site offers a developer the opportunity to capitalize on the low supply of luxury rental and condominium housing in the neighborhood,” reads the listing.

The site is large with frontage on 57th and 58th streets. The property is 1/2 an acre in size and has been used as a playground.

“St. Sebastian’s parish property includes an empty lot and given its limited use, it has been listed for sale,” said a spokesperson for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, which oversees parishes in Queens and Brooklyn. “The potential proceeds of this sale have not been earmarked for any specific purpose. This is simply a financially prudent decision.”

The parish has been hemorrhaging money in recent years.

The parish was expected to report a deficit of $150,000 for the fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2020, a spokesperson said at the end of July. The diocese accountant projected a $500,000 deficit for the 2021 fiscal year that began Sept. 1.

The St. Sebastian’s community center, which provides athletic facilities and programming, has been a large contributor to those losses, with an annual deficit of between $150,000 and $200,000 in recent years.

Fundraising efforts have helped offset a portion of the losses.

The parish was forced to layoff seven workers at the center soon after COVID-19 struck and is looking for ways to make the center financially sustainable. The center, which closed due to COVID, is expected to reopen soon.

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25 Comments

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Build Housing for Seniors

That’s the last thing needed is Luxury Hosing.. BUILD housing for LOW income SENIORS. The Church is a money making , brain washing place anyway. Hope they can’t sell it.

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What's wrong with Trump and other wealthy billionaire elite developers?

Trump and other builders of luxury housing are bad?

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Mac

Two more- You don’t like bike lanes then don’t ride your bike in the street. If you don’t like Story hour don’t go. Stop worrying about what everyone else wants and does. You’re a broken and boring record, obviously uncomfortable in your own skin.

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Don't have a bike.

Ps… I’d love to know how you “know” everyone who doesn’t put the same handle name is “me”.

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Flip the bird

I hope someone buys it and makes a parking lot with several floors. For monthly parking and daily parking.

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Citizen Z

I understand if the parish needs money to stay afloat, but lord PLEASE dont sell thag lot to build more apartments!

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ABoondy

god forbid there’s a decent real green park in the area. pun intended. I cant be the only one that enjoys cement parks infused with bums, drug uses, and benches that face heavy traffic. i mean, who doesnt the smell of carcinogens!

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Anonymous

There is a solution. Sunnyside and Woodside do not have enough parkland. We aren’t unique in that. But the LIC Amazon site is owned by the state. Much of the vitriol spewed at that deal focused on the wrong things. We don’t need more waterfront park for rich people. The state should sell that land. Developers will build a park on the water anyway. And the state should use that windfall to buy underdeveloped and underutilized land like this and build parks for those of us that don’t have easy access to them. This little chunk of land is probably 1/100 of the value of the Amazon parcel and its already park ready. So they can buy 99 other parcels and put parks on them afterward.

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Elemtary school graduate

Well, that’s sad…these children wont have a yard for recess now? Thats where the some of the best bonds and memories are made during childhood.

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The way it goes

Insider says it is only way to keep the Community Center open. The Center being such an important part of community life may mean it is a good more permanent solution than nonstop fundraising. New pastor known for his money management. Let’s hope they get more than that sum!

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Anonymous

I hope the statues in the parish garden are moved with the other statues in the Church Parking Many generations of May Crowning of Mary took place in the parish garden.

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GC

This is unfortunate – many churches have instead teamed with affordable housing developers and built housing over new facilities for the church. I’m sure there are a number of organizations that would love to partner with St. Sebastian’s on a new development; unfortunate that they seem to have not considered that. If they lease the land to the developer instead of selling it they could have steady income too.

I worked on a project with this arrangement in the Bronx and the end result was a great building that benefited everyone.

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Green Acres

The city should buy it and make it a park. How many more expensive condos are really needed?

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Sell Center to the “Y”/ empty land worth more than $6mm

Vacant land that can go up 80 feet is worth a heck of a lot more than 6 million.
Athletic center should never run at a loss. Stupid management. Sell it to the “Y.!”

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Maureen Yigiter

“Limited use“ is completely inaccurate. It’s where the students have gym and the summer program pre-Covid. The parish center needs to fundraise. Anyone who takes swimming lessons or uses the Parish center for any sport should be required to have a membership. I know things are different with Covid, but the parish center is utilized by the whole neighborhood and now families who already pay tuition to attend SSCA will lose the field to help with the poorly managed debt! Everyone who was horrified by the rumblings of losing the Parish center should be contributing to save it so we don’t lose the field.

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The Magical (Thinking) NIMBY Tour

Roll up for the magical (thinking) NIMBY tour! Step right this way!

The Magical (Thinking) NIMBY Tour
Side A
1. Magical (Thinking) NIMBY Tour
2. The Fool on the Hill overlooking the park behind St. Sebastians
3. Flying epithets
4. Blue Jay No Way No How
5. Your Mother Should Know not to build anything here
6. I Am The Walrus
Side B
1. Hello, Goodbye to any of your ideas
2. Strawberry Fields Never
3. Millionaire’s Lane, don’t think so
4. Baby, You’re A Rich Man so go live in the burbs
5. All You Need Is Love and you won’t get it from us so leave us alone

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Anonymous

why doesn’t anyone ask what happened to all of the money from the former pastor of the church? I bet nobody will get a straight answer.

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