Hare Krishna HQ for sale on development-busy Schermerhorn Street block

This is the headquarters of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, which is for sale. The low-rise brick structure at the left is part of the property. Photo by Lore Croghan

Eye On Real Estate: Downtown Brooklyn progress report

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Krishna Krishna. Hare Hare. Bye bye!

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness has put its headquarters at 295-309 Schermerhorn St. up for sale as a development site – on a block that's already up to its neck in major construction projects.

Eastern Consolidated, the brokerage with the exclusive sale listing, recently announced that up to 187,000 square feet of new development can be built there with inclusionary housing bonuses.

The property could fetch $60 million or more, the equivalent of $300 per buildable square foot, The Real Deal reported.

The Hare Krishna movement, founded in the 1960s, has made the Downtown Brooklyn location its home for three decades. Now it plans to move to Queens, according to The Real Deal.

A closer look at the Downtown Brooklyn temple, which is being offered as a development site. Photo by Lore Croghan

The religious group bought the Schermerhorn property in 1982 through an entity called the Bharati Center, city Finance Department records indicate. The seller was Congregation Mount Sinai.

Inside its temple, which Eye on Real Estate was allowed to visit the other day, there is a lifelike statue of Hare Krishna's late founder, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, and there are lovely paintings as well.

Many neighborhood residents and workers have spent time in the building – it serves up tasty vegetarian lunches at bargain prices.

Ram Bhadra, the man in charge of the Krishna temple, declined to be interviewed: “I signed a confidentiality agreement,” he said.

Welcome to Brooklyn's Hare Krishna temple – which may be in the borough for only a little while longer. Photo by Lore Croghan

One hotel is under construction next door, another across the street – and at the other end of the block, TF Cornerstone plans to build a big apartment complex.

Now that the religious organization has decided to sell its building, what will the other non-profit on the block, Brooklyn Community Services, which is also a property owner, do?

Last summer, TF Cornerstone was interested in buying 285 Schermerhorn St. from BCS, we previously reported. A half-dozen developers had approached BCS, which was “in listening mode,” its executive director, Marla Simpson, told us back then.

This time, when we asked if the organization is going to sell its building, all she would say is, “No comment.”

Inside the temple, there's a lifelike statue of the founder of the Hare Krishna movement. Photo by Lore Croghan 

Birds of a feather …. at the Hare Krishna headquarters – Photo by Lore Croghan

May 7, 2014 - 12:30pm



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