Redeeming Condos, Presbyterians Buy NYC Building for $30 Million


The church Tim Keller founded is part of a hidden trend turning real estate into worship space.

In New York City, you can find a church building that has been changed into a pizzeria. You can find a church remade as a bar. One Episcopal structure was turned into a cultural center, and then a rehab clinic, a dance club, a shopping center, and now a gym with a French bistro. You can find lots of churches converted into condos. High-end housing in former worship spaces has been the hot trend in New York for the past five or 10 years, with churches from Brooklyn to Greenwich Village to Harlem repurposed for upscale luxury living.

But Redeemer Presbyterian Church, founded by Tim Keller, is going in the other direction. The church announced it has bought a 45,000-square-foot condo building in the city and converting the former housing space into a church. The building cost $29.5 million, according to real estate news outlets, and will undergo a two-year renovation to become the new home of Redeemer’s Upper East Side congregation.

The purchase is “an important part of God’s long-term vision for our church,” said James Herring, elder and chair of a Redeemer building committee, in an announcement video posted August 14. Plans for the new building are still being developed, but Herring hopes to see a sanctuary seating 600, a fellowship hall seating 300, and space for “all the things we have only dreamed about having space for in the past.”

The church has been looking for new property since 2016 and considered more than 500 properties in four years. The committee pursued 22 properties and made offers on five, according to Herring.

The location they settled on, 150 East 91st St., is only 16 blocks from Redeemer’s current Upper East Side meeting place, the Temple Israel at 112 East 75th St. …

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