St. Nicholas church reconstruction delayed by land lease woes

November 19, 2013 11:10AM

The Greek Archdiocese of New York wants to rebuild a new and larger Church of St. Nicholas at 130 Liberty Street, but has encountered difficulties with the land lease for the Financial District property and may be delayed until 2016.

Church officials told the New York Post that fundraising will start soon for the project, which has a $20 million budget. Architect Santiago Calatrava was hired in September to create a new and larger version of the house of worship, which was destroyed on 9/11 — a move backed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, as previously reported.

However, the church could be plagued by delays, as the land is in limbo and Calatrava is tied up designing the World Trade Center Transportation Hub project, the Post said.

The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation owns the former Deutsche Bank site, but soon the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey should take over ownership and lease it to the archdiocese for 99 years, archdiocese spokesperson Mark Arey told the Post. The Port Authority and the LMDC made a deal years ago to trade two parcels south of the World Trade Center – the “south site” that LMDC owns and the planned site of a performing arts center that the Port Authority owns. But for unknown reasons the trade has been delayed.

“The land still has some LMDC situation going on, and we have not yet finalized our land swap,” Arey said.

Sources told the Post the church will likely arrive much later than 2016. [NYP]Mark Maurer