NEW YORK—A Pillsbury real estate team led by New York partner Andrew Weiner and counsel Katherine Barger has successfully concluded representation of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and St. Nicholas Church in the negotiations to relocate and reconstruct the venerable St. Nicholas Church—an anchor of the Church community since 1892 and the only house of worship destroyed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. A long-term ground lease for the site, with an option to purchase, was entered into with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on August 21, 2017. The Archdiocese currently plans to exercise its purchase option upon completion of construction.
Negotiations with the Port Authority commenced shortly after the 9/11 tragedy. Involved parties reached a definitive agreement in October 2011 to allow the new St. Nicholas to be built on the World Trade Center site, atop an elevated platform at the eastern end of the newly opened Liberty Park, above the World Trade Center Vehicle Security Center and adjacent to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. The new location, at 130 Liberty Street, was effected as an exchange for the original St. Nicholas property.
Construction of the new building—which was designed by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava to evoke Hagia Sophia in Istanbul—was commenced in 2016 under a temporary agreement with the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, then the owner of the land, and the Port Authority. Construction is expected to be completed in November 2018. In addition to resuming operations as a parish of the Archdiocese, the Church will be a National Shrine with a Meditation/Bereavement space for the general public.
“This was one of the most protracted, challenging and rewarding transactions of my career,” Weiner said. “The new Church will be a beautiful and iconic building, on a unique site. We are proud to have participated in its creation.”
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