One of the largest landowners in Manhattan, Trinity Church, showed off plans for the very un-historic 30-plus-story glass building it plans to build at 68-74 Trinity Place last night, but members of Community Board 1 had?no surprise?harsh words for the sleek, glassy design. "The building should look more in line with the neighborhood," said board member Joel Kopel. "Tourists come here from all over the world and the last thing we need is another building that looks like it's on East 59th Street." Kopel was one of many unbelievers in the board, who were not won over by the presentation by Jason Pizer, the president of Trinity Real Estate, and the Rev. Dr. James Cooper, the church's rector. "This doesn't do you justice," said another board member, after professing her love for the church's older buildings.
Others wondered whether the neighborhood would be able to support the influx of residents from the roughly 2,500 units of housing that will be built in the area in the coming years.
Architects Pelli Clarke Pelli recently won a competition to design the new 300,000-square-foot building, 175,000 of which will be set aside for residential uses. The church's leadership said they had not determined whether the residential portion would be condos or rentals, but there will be between 125 and 175 units. The 25 floors of residential property will sit on top of six or seven floors used for church activities and offices,
including the Trinity Preschool and Nursery. UPDATE: The preschool and nursery will actually be relocated to another site within the neighborhood.
The new building should generate the revenues to pay for both its construction and the demolition of the two buildings that currently sit on the site. (Trinity's other option would be to renovate those two buildings for $33 million.) The community board has no real say in the plans, which are as-of-right, though the church promised to take the neighbors' concerns seriously. "We've been in the neighborhood for more than 300 years," said Pizer. "We're not going to surprise anybody, and we want our neighbors to be supportive of what we do."
· Trinity Church Selects Pelli Clarke Pelli to Design Condo Tower [Curbed]
· 68-74 Trinity Place coverage [Curbed]