W83 (new building)

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.

W83 project overview | Opening | Design | Neighborhood | Volunteers | Timeline

W83 project overview

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 W. 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.

W83 Ministry Center opens March 4, 2012!

Our new building is open! We are excited to announce the opening of Redeemer’s W83 Ministry Center at 150 W. 83rd Street.

Please join us for worship on Sundays in this new space. We are so thankful to open our doors and begin serving the people of Manhattan’s West Side.


Introducing a new church building into a 21st century urban context is a unique challenge — the building has to serve the practical needs of a church with a wide variety of ministries, act as a community space, and fit in aesthetically with the residential brownstones around it. To these ends, the architects have been striving for a culturally-diverse design that is urbane and visionary. Outside and in, we want the building to feel like a natural, welcoming extension of the community around it.

We presented two of the architect’s plans to focus groups, whose responses have helped shape the final design in key ways: the style of the auditorium and its location in the building, the circulation/flow of visitors through the building, and the uses of the fellowship hall.

Main program elements

  • Sanctuary space: The sanctuary space for Sunday services is the primary design element — the other components all fall into place around it. Our auditorium will maximize the seating capacity offered by the size of the floor and include a balcony.
  • Classrooms: We are excited to make Redeemer classes and Children’s Ministry available to the West Side congregation!
  • Fellowship hall: Our new building will have ample room for a Sunday fellowship hall with a flexible design, so that it can serve multiple uses as a social gathering place.
  • “Third space” and community outreach: We want to provide a space that invites the neighborhood in for anything from coffee and Wi-Fi to an evening adult-education class.

Project Team


Redeemer is excited to become a permanent part of the Upper West Side, which has been hosting our Sunday services for the past 10 years. Here is a little bit of information about the area around the church’s home.


  • 1 Train to 79th Street or 86th Street at Broadway
  • B+C Train to 81st Street (Museum of Natural History) or 86th Street at Central Park West

Community board and school district

  • Community Board 7
  • New York City Community School District 3, Region 10: PS 87 William Sherman School


  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Rose Center for Earth and Space
  • New York Historical Society
  • Children’s Museum of Manhattan
  • Central Park Reservoir
  • Riverside Park
  • Beacon Theatre


Volunteers from across the Redeemer community play an important part in every stage of this project. They help identify and evaluate the various firms involved in designing and constructing a new building and provide their expert feedback on every decision.

If you are interested in helping with this project, we always welcome new team members! We are especially looking for new members of the Community Liaison Team and Interior Design Team, and web designers for the Media/Communications Team.

As the project progresses, we will also need volunteers to launch the Construction and Property Management Teams, as well as graphic designers.

To volunteer, please contact Susan Lee at [email protected] with the following information:

  • Name
  • Email
  • Best phone number for contact.
  • What type of work are you currently involved in?
  • How might your talents best serve?
  • Availability on mid-week evenings and/or on Sundays between morning and evening services.

Volunteer teams and responsibilities

Real Estate Team

  • Real Estate Broker selection and property search
  • Due diligence on property research
  • Selection Team for Architect and Contractor

Architect/Interior Design Team

  • Analysis of building program (space requirements)
  • Preliminary brainstorming on design approach
  • Review of conceptual images and sketches
  • Review and input on preliminary design ideas from contracted architect
  • “Building Green” research

Finance/Legal Team

  • Created financing package for loan request
  • Identified and approached potential lenders
  • Selection team for Lending Institution

Media/Communications Team

  • Video Updates and related interviews
  • Website
  • Congregation and Town Hall meetings
  • Community Liaison Team

Contact between Redeemer and local Community Board (CB7)

  • Research neighborhood demographics
  • Research existing community needs and outreach programs


Roll over the dates in the timeline below to see Redeemer’s accomplishments and goals for our vision.


Real Estate Search

  • Real Estate committee reviews vision campaign goals, adjusts real estate budget based on Vision Campaign revenue, and develops a building program
  • Colliers ABR chosen as real estate firm
  • Building search starts, Sept 2006 – 150 W 83rd St is found, Oct 2006
  • Due diligence begins on potential property, including cost analysis, zoning research, and a "test-fit" to determine how much usable space can fit within the property
  • Contract is signed on December 1, 2006
  • Assemble architecture design committee

Pre-Design / Programming

  • Preliminary design brainstorming with architecture volunteer team
  • Interview ministry teams to develop "program" for space usage
  • Architecture team analysis and refinement of detailed program
  • Real Estate committee search and selection process leads to Gertler & Wente selected as building Architect

Schematic Design (Summer 2007-Fall 2007)

  • Gertler & Wente develops two design schemes and several preliminary layouts from building program
  • NYC Building Code research on public assembly spaces
  • Structural and mechanical engineers develop preliminary building systems strategies
  • Presentation of two design schemes to ministry leaders, volunteer teams, and focus groups
  • Design is revised based on congregational input
  • Cost estimating exercise — alignment of budget, design, and schedule

Design Development (Fall 2007)

  • Real Estate Committee search and selection process leads to F. J. Sciame Construction selected for pre-construction services
  • Detailed review of design with code, theater, lighting, and kitchen consultants; geotechnical, structural, mechanical, and electrical engineers
  • Research on cost and process of "building green"
  • Development of interior design strategies
  • Gather input on interior design development from ministry leaders, volunteer teams, and focus groups

Construction Documents (Winter 2008 - Summer 2008)

  • Prepare application for a construction permit with the NYC Department of Buildings
  • Prepare technical drawings of foundation, steel frame, mechanical HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems, coordinated with architectural design
  • LEED building systems modeling to determine energy efficiency of proposed design
  • Site clean up and preparation by owner for contract closing

* Contract Closing/Ownership (October 2, 2008)

  • Structural probes to analyze strength of existing structural beams, columns and foundation
  • Geotechnical borings to analyze existing site conditions
  • Masonry probes on existing building façade
  • Additional building inspections and preparation for NYC Department of Buildings application

Bidding/Contract Negotiations Phase (Fall 2008 - Winter 2009)

  • Distribute construction documents to subcontractors for pricing
  • Gather bids to compare proposed costs and scope of work
  • Final review and fine tuning of design, based on input from subcontractors, for additional cost savings opportunities
  • Finalize bids and select best qualified subcontractors
  • Contractor selection/award
  • Negotiate contract with General Contractor and establish final cost for construction

Construction Milestones (projected start Early 2009 with an estimated 24 months to completion)

  • Demolition
  • Excavation and foundation
  • Erect structural steel framing
  • Interior finishes
  • Substantial completion