Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York is planning to convert a 45,00 square foot condo building into a church.
According to Christianity Today, the church bought the building for $29.5 million. Renovations are expected to take two years before the church opens as Redeemer’s Upper East Side church.
The purchase is “an important part of God’s long-term vision for our church,” said James Herring, elder and chair of a Redeemer building committee, in an announcement video posted on August 14.
Once opened, the church will seat about 600 in the sanctuary and 300 can be seated in a fellowship hall.
The purchase marks the end of a four-year hunt for a new church property. Church leaders considered more than 500 properties and made offers on five, Herring said.
The new church site, 150 East 91st St., is about 16 blocks from Redeemer’s current Upper East Side meeting space at the Temple Israel.
“Most importantly, this is space that for the first time in our history, we would have available 24/7 for our congregation and its ministries,” Herring said. “This will provide regular access to space for our families, meetings, cultural events, community ministry opportunities, and all of the things we have only dreamed of having the space for in the past.”
Herring says he hopes the new location will also position the church to partner with other organizations and facilities in the area, such as the Guggenheim Museum and the 92nd Street Y.
“We never wanted to be a megachurch, but a movement of multiple churches for the good of the city,” Cooke said. “We want to be rooted in the neighborhood, for the neighborhood.”
Many churches across the country are also converting their church buildings into spaces for commercial or residential uses.
According to a visual sociology project called “Converted Structures,” sociology professor Roman Williams and Taylor Hartson, of Calvin University’s Calvin Center for Social Research, found that among 22 U.S. cities, some 200 church buildings were flipped into commercial or residential use.
Photo courtesy: Juan Ordonez/Unsplash
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.