Extell angling to convert Park Avenue Christian Church annex

Project would increase size of UES structure tenfold

TRD New York /
Aug.August 15, 2013 03:00 PM

UPDATED: 4:27 p.m., Aug. 15: Extell Development is in contract to acquire the annex site of Park Avenue Christian Church, with plans to convert this section of the Upper East Side building into residential units, The Real Deal has learned.

Only the annex site at 1010 Park Avenue on the corner of East 85th Street, and not the church itself, will be converted, despite a previous report that the religious building was part of a planned conversion. No changes will be made to the former, a source familiar with the project told The Real Deal.

Park Avenue Christian, meanwhile, has reached a so-called standstill agreement with the Landmarks Preservation Commission that halts the agency from designating the site a landmark, provided the church secures the LPC’s permission before making any changes to the building’s exterior, applying for any Department of Buildings permits for work that would affect the building’s exterior or entering into any agreement or contract for goods or services that would modify the exterior or the air space above it.

The agreement pertains to the church and the rectory parish house, or annex. A spokesperson for the LPC told The Real Deal that it has not approved any work at either portion of the site.

“Extell Development Company, the would-be developer of the adjacent annex site, and Park Avenue Christian Church are committed to working with Landmarks to help preserve and protect the church building,” an Extell spokesperson told The Real Deal, declining to comment further.

Extell’s purchase price was not immediately available. Park Avenue Christian Church did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The addition will bring the church’s total size to 104,579 square feet, up from its current 9,546, according to the plan exam filed with the DOB Aug. 9. Designed by Keith Goich, the building would have 17 units spread over 16 floors, with amenities such as saunas, a playroom, gym, an outdoor recreation area and a private terrace. It was not clear whether the residences would be rentals or condominiums.

Park Avenue Christian, inspired by La Sainte Chapelle in Paris, was completed in 1911. A slender 70-foot spire tops the area fixture, known for its famous stained glass windows designed by artist Louis Comfort Tiffany.

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