Development at Former Convent in Bushwick With Affordable Housing Is Finally Complete

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A new development at a former Catholic convent in Bushwick, comprising two buildings bookending a historic building in the middle, is finally complete.

The property includes a four-story early 20th century Mediterranean style brick building with arched windows and doors at 1 De Sales Place, a new six-story addition at 11 De Sales Place (although the entrance says 21 De Sales), and a separate new eight-story building at 1875 Broadway.

Facing De Sales, the facade of the addition is copper colored on the second through the fourth floor, with a red brick-colored top floor; the base of the building is black. Sloped window surrounds are white, and pop from the exterior.

1 de sales place

On the corner, the eight-story building has the same color scheme, but with an all-white bump-out facing Broadway. While colorful and modern, both buildings harmonize with the historic building they surround.

1 de sales place

Both buildings are physically connected to the former convent. The six-story building has a four-story connector, while the eight-story building has a one-story bridge between the two.

1 de sales place

1 de sales place

There are a total of 69 units among the three buildings. In January 2017, an affordable lottery opened for 63 of those units, for households ranging from 40 to 80 percent of the area median income. Rents started at $519 a month for a studio.

The owner and developer is an LLC called Our Lady of Lourdes Apartment LLC, which purchased the property from Our Lady of Lourdes Parish (controlled by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brooklyn) in 2015 for $1.8 million, according to public records.

1 de sales place

John Coogan of OCV Architects is the architect of record. The firm has designed a number of projects in Brooklyn, including a four-story residential building at 265 Van Brunt Street in Red Hook, and the Knick condo building in Bushwick.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brooklyn still owns a school on the other side of the block at 2 Aberdeen Street. It was all part of the same property until the archdiocese sold the convent. The private Catholic school, Our Lady of Lourdes School, closed in 2004 and the property sat empty for years.

1 de sales place

The site was a source of controversy not long ago when some alumni of Our Lady of Lourdes School set out to save a grotto and statue dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The grotto was demolished to fix a retaining wall, and a few months later, the archdiocese rented out the space to Ascend Public Charter Schools. Bushwick Ascend Middle School opened there in September 2015.

[Photos by Susan De Vries]

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