Dyker Heights

Report: Sisters of Mercy sell Angel Guardian Home

Neighbors wanted senior housing at Dyker Heights site

December 12, 2017 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Sisters of Mercy ran an orphanage at the Angel Guardian site on 12th Avenue for decades. The orphanage eventually closed and in recent years, the site was occupied by MercyFirst, a non-profit agency. Eagle file photo by Paula Katinas

A large piece of property the size of three football fields where the Sisters of Mercy operated an orphanage for more than 80 years has been sold by the Catholic religious order, according to a published report.

Brooklyndaily.com reported on Dec. 11 that the Sisters of Mercy have sold the Angel Guardian Home at 6301 12th Ave. in Dyker Heights at a price said to be around $23 million or $24 million.

The buyer has not yet been revealed.

And it’s not clear if the Angel Guardian site will be converted into senior housing, as local residents had requested.

The vast property where kindhearted Catholic nuns looked after orphaned children for decades should be converted into a housing complex for senior citizens, according to neighbors living near the site who formed an advocacy group to promote their idea.

The group Guardians of the Guardian held a public meeting in October to discuss the future of the property.

The Sisters of Mercy established an orphanage at the site in 1899 and found homes for thousands of children over the ensuing decades. The orphanage closed in the 1970s.

MercyFirst, a nonprofit social services organization, moved onto the property a few years ago and operated a foster care program from the site, sharing space with the Narrows Senior Center, a program sponsored by Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens, the charitable arm of the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn. 

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MercyFirst moved out of the Angel Guardian site earlier this year. 

The Guardians of the Guardian group was seeking to turn the property’s stately 100-year-old building and luscious green space into a “multistage senior housing complex” for area residents who would like to “retire-in-place,” Frank Grassi, a leader of the group, wrote in an email.  

“There is a dire need in Brooklyn for a senior residence of this type,” Grassi wrote.

Earlier this year, Brooklyn Daily reported that the Sisters of Mercy planned to sell the property to Catholic Charities so that it could be converted into low-income housing.

But the Progress of Peoples Development Corporation (CCPOP), the real estate component of Catholic Charities, later decided not to move ahead with the purchase.

“After a financial analysis that took into consideration the uncertainties regarding the availability of low-income tax credits and other government subsidies for the future development of low-income housing, CCPOP determined that the project was not viable,” Catholic Charities said in a statement.

 

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