At 58 West 135th Street and Malcolm X Boulevard in Harlem stands a church that’s been serving the community for 102 years. These days the church has been struggling to keep up with the cost of maintenance on the 102-year-old building. So, another one of New York’s religious institutions gears up to become— what else?— a residential building. Say your final prayers at Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, which is soon to be demolished.
Enter SatCom Corporation located at 350 5th Ave Ste. 5114, New York City. Satcom Corporation operates as a telecommunications company that provides services, including internet services, telephony, VPN, storage, distance learning, commercial transactions and broadcast capabilities. SatCom is a private company and its president is Moujan Vahdat.
Meet Mr. Vahdat – Billionaire Moujan Vahdat, President of SatCom Corporation, who also serves as a Trustee of St. Mary’s Hospital in Passaic, New Jersey. Vahdat is a telecommunications and real estate entrepreneur, and heads ELMO Realty Company and Empire State Development Fund. ELMO Realty Company is a Manhattan-based real estate firm that develops, owns and operates residential and commercial properties throughout the world.
For the past 25 years, the Empire State Development Fund has had success in the development and construction of commercial and residential projects in the Big Apple. The Empire State Development Fund supports foreign investments under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. The EB-5 Visa Program of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is an opportunity for foreign nationals and their families to invest in the United States, be granted permanent residency and attain full American citizenship in a few years. The opposition argues the USCIS program is riddled with fraud and abuse. Under the EB-5 visa, foreign nationals can claim that they will invest $500,000 and thus receive Green Cards for their entire family for at least two years, with pathways to citizenship available as well. The only requirement is that the EB-5 visa holder creates at least 10 United States jobs.
Mr. Vahdat purchased the property at 58 West 135th Street in Harlem, soon-to-be the former Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church… a two-story building originally built as a theater in 1915. Mr. Vahdat plans a new 30,000 square foot residential building, and made accommodation for the church. Totaling 11,000 square feet, the ground floor and cellar of the building will be the new church space, while the remaining space will be dedicated to rentals or condos. About 1,100 square feet on the first floor will be set aside as an apartment for the pastor. Mr. Vahdat agreed to pay off the church’s $400,000 mortgage, as well as $4,000 per month for 20 years.
Vahdat has purchased at least six other apartments in the Bronx and Manhattan over the years, one of which is a low income Bronx rental apartment with eight units on Hull Avenue. He also owns a second Bronx NY Apartment building with five stories on Pelham Parkway South.
Looks as if he will be buying more of the Big Apple…