LITTLE ITALY — The Chapel of San Lorenzo Ruiz, a now-defunct Catholic church that for years served the Filipino community, is slated to be sold to a real estate developer for more than $7 million, according to court documents.
Church leaders have inked an agreement to sell the chapel at 378 Broome St. to Urban Standard Development for $7.351 million, pending a final court order that is required under state Religious Corporations Law, records show.
The board of trustees of the Church of the Most Holy Crucifix, which owns the property, filed a petition in state Supreme Court on July 7 requesting the court order, which would finalize the deal.
The sale will close by July 25 if the court grants the church's request, records show, but the deal may fall through if the court order is not received by the closing date.
The church was first built in 1925 as the Church of the Most Holy Crucifix and for decades served the neighborhood's Italian population. It was dedicated to the Filipino community in 2005 and was renamed for San Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint, according to a report in FilAm Magazine.
The church had been in trouble for some time, according to reports. The assistant pastor told the New York Times in 2006 it considered itself "lucky" if as many as five worshippers showed up for services.
That number seemed to have swelled by 2014, when FilAm Magazine noted a modest congregation of 20 to 30 flocked to the chapel on most weekdays while closer to 50 would turn up for Sunday mass.
Church Reverend Dr. Joseph G. Marabe told the magazine the small turnout was likely due to the neighborhood's sparse Filipino population, while an anonymous church member pointed at parking difficulties in the area and disagreements among church leaders.
A spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York said the chapel had sat unused for some time, but could not specify when it had been closed.
"It’s a church building that is no longer being used — it is no longer needed," spokesman Joseph Zwilling said.
The most recent post on the chapel's website is from December 2014. Marabe did not immediately return requests for comment.
Urban Standard Development did not return requests for comment on plans for the site.