By Peter Sloggatt
The sale of a church building in Huntington village is drawing interest from more than religious organizations, said the realtor who has been showing the property. The “unusual real estate offering” has also attracted potential buyers interested in developing the property, or renovating it for other uses such as a restaurant or single family home.
The First Church of Christ Scientist put its Main Street building and 1.85 acres on the market with an asking price of $2.2 million. Peter Arner, a broker with Signature Premier Properties’ Huntington office said he has had inquiries covering “all different options” since listing the property on April 27.
“We’ve had churches from other areas that are looking to expand into Suffolk County,” he said. But some with a creative eye are also looking. “Everything from housing to commercial, I’ve even had someone ask if it would be suitable as a restaurant.” Arner continued.
“It’s a unique spot with lots of character. It has slate roofs, brick walls, it’s a beautiful church,” Arner said. The church, built in 1950, “…does need some work. There was some water damage that has been repaired,” he said.
First Church of Christ Scientist is merging two congregations and will continue to operate its reading room in Northport Village, Arner said.
The property dominates the triangle where Nathan Hale Drive meets Route 25A. Calculating its market value was a challenge, for which Arner turned to Signature Properties co-owner Peter Morris.
“He was a builder before he devoted himself to the real estate agency, so I looked to him for guidance,” Arner said. They based the value on a possible yield of seven building lots valued at $250,000-$300,000 each, plus the church building, he said.
As for the $155,482 property tax bill, Arner points out that as a church with a religious exemption, Church of Christ Scientist is tax exempt, so the assessment has not been recalculated for decades.
“If it goes commercial or residential then there’s taxes,” he said. “But nobody’s addressed the taxes. It would be reassessed, definitely.”
Complete details on the property are available at Signature’s website at Signaturepremier.com/Peter-Arner.