The reconstruction of St. Nicholas Church Greek Orthodox Church at the World Trade Center, which has been stalled for two years, might restart with renewed support from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has assembled a team of seven donors to get it across the finish line, according to the New York Post.
Construction on the St. Nicholas National Shrine—which will replace the original St. Nicholas Church, located on Cedar Street, which was destroyed on 9/11—has been stalled since December 2017, when the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese run out of funds to continue the $80 million project. The building is designed by Santiago Calatrava.
According to the Post, Cuomo has asked seven high-profile individuals to donate and help continue the project, including Gristedes owner and billionaire developer John Catsimatidis.
“He wants the church finished,” Catsimatidis told the Post. He also said that individuals were willing to donate but under new project leadership. “If the Archdiocese is in charge, they’re not giving the money.”
In December 2017, construction firm Skanska terminated its contract with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, allegedly because of missed payments. Reports at the time also revealed that church leaders “misappropriated segregated or restricted funds.” But Archbishop Demetrios, head of the Greek Orthodox church in the U.S., said back then that the “project is on the right course and that construction will resume in the not too distant future.”
A year ago, the Port Authority, which owns the land where the Church is being built, offered assistance to complete the project. According to the Post, the Archdiocese would need $40 million to finish the Church.
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese couldn’t be reached for comment.