The Diocese of Rockville Centre has sold its Pastoral Center headquarters, at Sunrise Highway and North Park Avenue in the heart of downtown Rockville Centre, for $5.2 million, church officials announced Friday.
The diocese started marketing the property for sale in 2018 after determining that it was too costly to operate the facility, according to church officials. It was unclear at press time where the diocese might locate its new headquarters, or what might become of the current headquarters.
“The operating efficiencies that will result are expected to free resources that can be directed to those with the greatest need," said the Rev. Eric Fasano, the diocese's vicar general, in a statement.
The Hempstead-based Synergy Holding Partners LLC purchased the five-story structure, which includes an adjacent 58-spot parking lot.
The diocese filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy last October because of the financial strain of lawsuits by sexual abuse victims under New York’s Child Victims Act, which took effect in 2019.
Rockville Centre is among the nation's 10 largest dioceses, and is home to 1.4 million Catholics. It is among a growing number of dioceses that are filing bankruptcy because they must defend sexual abuse lawsuits. It is the largest diocese to file to date.
Sale of the Pastoral Cetner was approved in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Proceeds from the sale will go to pay the diocese's creditors.
The diocese will remain at the building through Aug. 31, while it moves to a new facility. The sale is not expected to interrupt the diocese's daily operations, as many employees at the site have been working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic, church officials said.
More to follow.