American Bible Society building to be demolished

AvalonBay plans to build an apartment tower on the 1865 Broadway site
October 22, 2015 08:30AM

After roughly 50 years of housing holy tenants, the American Bible Society’s Columbus Circle headquarters will soon be demolished to make way for new apartments.

AvalonBay Communities bought 1865 Broadway for $300 million in February and plans to build a 300,000-square-foot residential tower. The demolition of the 12-story building, which is being overseen by Howard I. Shapiro & Associates, should be completed next year.

The society relocated to Philadelphia in August, a move partially motivated by the cost of running the organization in New York.

“The building was in need of significant updates and repairs, and the cost of living and doing business in New York City had become untenable for the organization and many of its employees,” Roy Peterson, the society’s president and chief executive told the New York Times.

The society formed in 1852, where it operated a steam-powered printing press in Lower Manhattan. The group, which printed bibles until 1922, had several different addresses throughout the city — Astor Place and 450 Park Avenue — before settling into its Broadway location in 1966.

According to the Times, the new apartments will have have one key connection to the site’s history. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, which designed the headquarters, will be designing AvalonBay’s tower.

AvalonBay told investors that it may enter into a joint venture or sell the retail component of the project. [NYT] — Kathryn Brenzel