KIPS BAY — A 40-year-old convent of the Episcopal Church recently sold its Kips Bay property for $2.6 million to raise funds to build new headquarters in South Carolina, convent officials said.
The Order of Saint Helena sold its three-story building at 134 E. 28th St. so that it could consolidate into a newer and bigger campus in North Augusta, S.C., which is currently being designed, said Phillip Christman, business consultant to the order.
“It’s a dollars-and-cents issue,” Christman said. “They decided the best thing to do is consolidate, rather than trying to support three convents. A lot of businesses in all orders are consolidating just because of the expense of upkeep.”
The order sold the 1,480-square-foot Kips Bay property — which consists of a five-bed convent, office space and a kitchen — to Friedman Family Holdings LLC in March, according to the contract of sale revealed in court documents filed July 16.
Friedman Family Holdings declined a request for comment.
Several nuns still reside in the convent on East 28th Street, but they will be moving out within the next 60 days, Christman said.
The convent practices daily prayer and community service, according to the order's website.
The order had owned three properties, including the one in Kips Bay, one in Windsor, N.Y., and its headquarters in Augusta, Ga. The order sold its property in Windsor about four years ago and plans to sell its convent in Georgia as well.
The sisters from all three convents will be moving to a brand new convent that is being built on 28 acres of land in South Carolina by mid 2014, Christman said. Construction of the new site is expected to begin in the fall.
"Everybody will be moving south," Christman said.