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Century-old Harlem church will be razed for new apartment building

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The Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church will be demolished for a residential building with room for a new church

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Another day, another one of New York’s religious institutions gears up to become— what else— a residential building. This time its the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church at 58 West 135th Street.

According to The Real Deal, the church has been struggling to keep up with the cost of maintenance on the 102-year-old building, leading to a discussion to cut a deal worth about $10.2 million, with billionaire Moujan Vahdat, who runs Elmo Realty and Empire Development Fund.

Vahdat plans to demolish the building and replace it with a 30,000-square-foot residential building with 11,000 square feet of space set aside for a new church on the ground and cellar levels. There is no word yet on how many apartments the building will offer, whether they will be condos or rentals, or if there will be any affordable units set aside, though the new development will reserve one apartment on the first floor for the church’s pastor.

Construction is expected to last for about 2.5 years. Vahdat has agreed to pay up to $5,000 per month to help Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church relocate until the building is complete. The firm will also pay off the church’s remaining mortgage payments which equate to about $400,000.