Nonprofits leaving Gramercy area

The United Charities building at Park Avenue South and 22nd Street that housed Community Service Society, Children’s Aid Society and New York City Mission Society (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

The United Charities building at Park Avenue South and 22nd Street that housed Community Service Society, Children’s Aid Society and New York City Mission Society (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

With the announcement of its move to the Grand Central neighborhood in mid-August from the United Charities Building at 105 East 22nd Street, the Community Service Society is just one of a handful of other non-profit organizations moving away from the area formerly known as Charity Row. In a two-block area that used to house the Xavier Society for the Blind, New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and the Russell Sage Foundation, the Church Missions House at 281 Park Avenue South is one of the last hold-outs of the non-profits in the neighborhood, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The United Charities Building was jointly owned by three different anti-poverty organizations for the last 122 years. In addition to CSS, which owned 50 percent of the stakes, Children’s Aid Society and New York City Mission Society each held 25 percent of the stakes. In a press release from last year, the United Charities’ member organizations, which rely on government grants as well as private and foundation giving to sustain their programming, reported they were exploring the possibility of a sale in order to leverage resources and assets so they could continue their work. The Board of Directors for United Charities had voted unanimously to retain a brokerage firm because they realized that the sale of the building in the current real estate market could bring in significant funding for the three organizations.

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