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Construction on WTC’s St. Nicholas National Shrine halted after church defaults on payments

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Construction firm Skanska has ordered subcontractors to cease work until further notice

Scott Lynch for Curbed.

Construction on the Saint Nicholas National Shrine at the World Trade Center has come to a stop after the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America allegedly missed several payments to the construction team. According to the Commercial Observer, the church failed to pay the project’s contractor, forcing construction firm Skanska to halt all work (h/t The Real Deal).

“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. Skanska is “demobilizing from the project site” and will not resume construction on the Santiago Calatrava-designed until the debt is settled.

The Pappas Post reports that church leaders “misappropriated segregated or restricted funds” which included money to pay for the shrine’s construction. An investigative committee appointed by accounting firm Grant Thornton is evaluating situation and Skanska has stated that it is “continuing its pursuit of payment” from the church.

In the mean time, the archdiocese says that a new chairman of the church’s finance committee has been appointed. In a statement posted to its website, the church said that it is “working expeditiously and diligently to address its financial challenges, all of which are controllable and manageable.”

Curbed reached out to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America for comment but did not immediately get a response.

St. Nicholas National Shrine

130 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10006