W83 Project Overview

Following the 2005 Vision Campaign, we were committed to purchasing our first permanent location—a location that would let us design our space from the ground up.

Sooner than anyone expected, we found a mid-block parking garage at 150 W 83rd Street that fit both our church's needs and budget. Less expensive than an apartment or office building, the garage offers the space to build a multi-story Sunday worship space. On top of that, the contract closing was extended to October 2, 2008, saving the church over a million dollars in mortgage and carrying costs while we developed the design.

Of the hundreds of decisions regarding the design of the building, many will depend on what the building will be used for besides worship services. Ultimately, we want to be able to offer programs and services that will serve the neighborhood and the city. To understand the characteristics and needs of the community surrounding West 83rd Street, we are consulting existing published sources, community representatives, and the local Community Board (Board 7). While we are confident that our existing Redeemer ministries can meet some of the neighborhood-specific needs, we are also committed to supporting existing community-based organizations that need volunteer time and/or activity space.

In making decisions about design, we have been seeking a wide breadth of ideas and opinions. Since the Vision Campaign, specialized teams of volunteers have been an integral part of shaping this project, acting as community liaisons and lending their help and expertise in several fields, such as legal, finance, architecture, and communications and media. Our various ministry leaders have been participating in an ongoing series of collaborative meetings to generate ideas around the information that has been gathered. A first round of congregational surveys helped us organize focus groups to collect specific reactions to two different preliminary designs. The focus group discussions led to important changes that will be reflected in the final design.

Construction in Manhattan, especially during the continuing "building boom," is always a challenge. Because the cost of labor and materials continues to rise, the budget and still-in-process design require constant study and rigorous tweaking to ensure a functional, quality building that is also cost-effective.