Trinity Church moving ahead with development

August 04, 2013 12:00PM

Trinity Church is moving forward with its plans to tear down two church-owned buildings and build an office and residential tower in its place, the New York Post reported.

The downtown church’s board approved the 296,000-square-foot plan, which consists of a six- or seven-story glass office building and a 25-story residential tower.

The church tapped the firm Pelli Clarke Pelli, led by architect Cesar Pelli, who designed the Petronas Towers in Malaysia and the World Financial Center in lower Manhattan, to design and develop the project. Trinity declined to disclose how much the project will cost or how it will be financed.

The plan was approved after a lengthy fight between the board and Reverend James Cooper, who has been advocating for the development for years. Rev. Cooper’s push for the buildings led to a mass exodus of church board members two years ago.

Despite gaining board approval, not everyone’s on board with this development.

Parishioner Jeremy Bates, who sued Trinity this year over its board-election process, said that although the plan “may be an economically smart decision…it’s symbolically wrong.”

In a letter to fellow members of the vestry, former board member Tom Flexner accused Cooper of wanting “to pursue ill-conceived projects in order to promote his own power.” [NYP] – James Comtois