Cash-strapped Greek Orthodox church stops work on WTC shrine

St. Nicholas shrine's cost ballooned to $78M from $20M

New York /
Dec.December 26, 2017 05:25 PM

Rendering of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox National Shrine. (Credit: Port Authority of New York & New Jersey)

Severe financial mismanagement has prompted the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America to stop work on its St. Nicholas shrine at the World Trade Center.

The archdiocese, which raised $37 million in donations to pay for the Santiago Calatrava-designed shrine, ran out of funds, the New York Times reported. “Effective Dec. 5, 2017, Skanska USA has terminated its contract with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America on account of GOA’s defaults in making payments,” Thomas Perry, the director of the project, wrote in a letter sent to subcontractors.

The Byzantine-inspired structure, which is to be sheathed in marble, was projected to cost $20 million when the design was announced in 2013. But that number ballooned to $35 million by the time the ground was broken in 2015. When the church’s 50-foot dome was completed in 2016, the figure was $40 million. As of this month, the cost had reached $78 million — with only $49 million pledged.

In October 2016, the archdiocese disclosed a “severe and complex financial deficit,” the Times reported. Jerry Dimitriou, the executive director of the archdiocese who oversaw the shrine project, has since resigned. In November, the archdioceses ordered an independent audit, which will be conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers and BakerHostetler.

The St. Nicholas Shrine was a modest four-story structure located at 155 Cedar Street before the Sept. 11 attacks. In 2011, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey gave the church the site on the eastern end of Liberty Park. The archdiocese has a 198-year lease, paying $1 a year.

In an email, the archdiocese said it hoped construction would resume this spring. It said construction of skylights and parts of the glass curtain wall were continuing offsite. [NYT] E.B. Solomont


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
With a cooling trade war, stocks perform well, including real estate. (Credit: iStock)
Real estate stocks push up this week as U.S.-China trade tensions ease
Real estate stocks push up this week as U.S.-China trade tensions ease
416 West 25th Street and Maverick Real Estate Partners principal David Aviram (Credit: Google Maps and LinkedIn)
Chelsea landlord claims “predatory” lender is charging a crippling interest rate as punishment after losing foreclosure case
Chelsea landlord claims “predatory” lender is charging a crippling interest rate as punishment after losing foreclosure case
Crow Holdings, Marcus Partners teaming up for luxury Westchester multifamily
Crow Holdings, Marcus Partners teaming up for luxury Westchester multifamily
Crow Holdings, Marcus Partners teaming up for luxury Westchester multifamily
Madison Realty Capital Co-Founders Josh Zegen and Brian Shatz with a rendering of the River North development (Madison Realty Capital, FXCollaborative)
Madison Realty’s altered plans for SI complex approved
Madison Realty’s altered plans for SI complex approved
Clockwise from left: Vornado's Steven Roth with 61-19 Junction Boulevard, Rego Park, Silverstein Properties' Larry Silverstein with 44-01 Northern Boulevard in Astoria and BEB Capital's Bert Brodsky with 1065 Atlantic Avenue in Bedford–Stuyvesant (Images via Google Maps, Getty Images, BEB Capital)
Vornado, Silverstein propose major mixed-use projects
Vornado, Silverstein propose major mixed-use projects
Chinese developer willing to sell Manhattan supertall site at big loss
Chinese developer willing to sell Manhattan supertall site at big loss
Chinese developer willing to sell Manhattan supertall site at big loss
MTA plans mixed-use redevelopment for Greenpoint waterfront
MTA plans mixed-use redevelopment for Greenpoint waterfront
MTA plans mixed-use redevelopment for Greenpoint waterfront
Ex-partners’ feud stalls $140M development in Port Chester
Ex-partners’ feud stalls $140M development in Port Chester
Ex-partners’ feud stalls $140M development in Port Chester
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...