Chelsea church neighbors gather to protest condo topper

French Evangelical Church to be crowned by 11-story, 14-unit residential tower

New York /
Apr.April 07, 2014 05:45 PM

Area residents gathered outside a Chelsea church Sunday to lambast a developer’s plans to top the worship spot with a luxury condominium topper.

The 11-story residential building planned by Einhorn Development Group would include 14 residential units and has been fully approved. The foundation for the 124 West 16th Street structure is already in place, but that does little to appease angry neighbors.

“Enough of these fake air rights!” one protester shouted during the gathering.

“It’s just atrocious,” another told news channel NY1 of the proposed design.

Paster Charles Atkins Jr., who overseas the French Evangelical Church congregation, told NY1 that “this is not something that happened overnight. This has been in the works and in consultation with the Presbytery of New york for the last eight years.”

Einhorn purchased a site next door to the church for $4 million in 2012, demolished the structure there, then recently bought the remaining air rights above the church for an undisclosed amount, as The Real Deal previously reported. The church sold its air rights, Atkins said, to finance necessary maintenance to preserve the 1835 church.

“That building was falling apart,” Atkins told the news channel. “It became a hazard, but we as a church did not have the funds necessary to remove it.” [NY1] Julie Strickland


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