Redeemer Presbyterian’s UES development plans vex co-op residents

Church paid $30M in 2020 for 150 East 91st Street in Carnegie Hill

Redeemer’s Timothy Keller and 150 East 91st Street (Getty, Google Maps, Redeemer)
Redeemer’s Timothy Keller and 150 East 91st Street (Getty, Google Maps, Redeemer)

Angry Upper East Side co-op residents are wondering if a neighboring church looking to build within a yard of its property is beyond redemption.

Frustration boiled over at a meeting this week of the development committee of Manhattan Community Board 8 against the Presbyterian church Redeemer, Crain’s reported. The meeting was the latest chapter in a dispute over the proximity of the church planned for 150 East 91st Street.

The church plans to build a mere three feet from the apartment windows of the co-op at 160 East 91st Street, planning to take full advantage of the property’s lot line. Co-op residents want the church to build eight feet from their property’s edge to allow natural light and air to keep filtering into their apartments.

Residents are also concerned about fire escape routes and ventilation, pressing the Fire Department and building officials to step into the dispute.

“The church is showing us no mercy,” one resident said at the meeting this week.

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Redeemer purchased the Carnegie Hill site from GPG Properties in August 2020 for $29.5 million. The church is looking to develop a 12-story, 50,000-square-foot property with classrooms, offices and a sanctuary. Church officials say the project is within its legal rights.

The co-op building, owned by an LLC, spans 125 units. The eight-story building largely consists of studio and one-bedroom apartments. The priciest sale at the building was $525,000.

Redeemer resembles a developmental powerhouse in the city when compared to its fellow churches, many of which are selling buildings to stay viable or hawking air rights to developers. The 44-year-old church purchased a four-story parking garage at 150 West 83rd for $21.5 million in 2008, converting it into a ministry center.  

— Holden Walter-Warner