Saturday, October 17, 2015

Trinity Church to Build 44-Story Tower in the Financial District

Trinity Church has decided to knock down its 90-year old administrative office building at 68-74 Trinity Place to make way for a new 350,000-square-foot, 44-story mixed-use tower to be designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. The new building will soar more than 450 feet and include a seven-story base dedicated to church activities and offices, topped by a 37-story condominium tower that will pay for the project and help keep the church coffers full.

Nestled amid the towers of the world’s biggest banks and finance companies, Trinity Wall Street, a relatively diminutive neo-Gothic structure built in 1846, might seem quaint.

But with assets estimated at more than $4 billion -- thanks to a colonial land grant of some 215 acres of downtown property by Britain's Queen Anne dating back to 1705 --Trinity Church is right at home with its wealthy neighbors.

Though its bank account would be the envy of most congregations, it is generating internal strife since the church must now decide how to best deal with its considerable real estate holdings.

The source of tension is the building code of its 90-year-old administrative office at 68-74 Trinity Place. Faced with a $33 million price tag for building-related work aimed at meeting 2018 code compliance, the church has decided to raze the existing structure and build a new, fully-compliant one for an estimated $250 million.

The church board voted on Wednesday to move forward with the project instead of embarking on a renovation of the two buildings that currently sit on the site.

The new structure will include a seven-story base dedicated to mission activities and related offices, topped by a 37-story residential tower, said a church spokesman, noting that "it will provide a source of revenue for the expansion of the church’s core ministry activities, which include philanthropic grant-making and homeless outreach."

The entrance to the residential tower will be on Greenwich Street, while the entrance to the church space will be on Trinity Place, with access via an existing pedestrian bridge across Trinity Place.

It will house a parish hall, facilities and offices for Trinity’s expanding ministry, the Sunday school and rooms for community organizations.

Pelli Clarke Pelli beat out a competing bid from Cook/Fox to design the building.

The next step in the process is the selection of a development partner said Trinity Real Estate President Jason Pizer, who anticipates a demolition of the existing buildings later in 2015, and completion by 2018.

In addition to its project in the Financial District, Trinity Real Estate is also looking into developing up to four luxury towers near the entrance to the Holland Tunnel.

The church was a major player in the 2013 rezoning of Hudson Square that will allow the institution to convert some of its 5.5 million-square-feet of office space in the neighborhood to residential use.

The church is presently seeking a partner to construct a 430-foot-tall, 300,000-square-foot residential building in Hudson Square, on a plot framed by Sixth Avenue and Canal, Grand and Varick streets.

The new tower will have a 444-seat public school at its base.

Trinity also has plans to develop 4 Hudson Square, a 1 million-square-foot development site between Hudson, Varick, Spring and Vandam streets where they plan to build one residential and one office tower.

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