Church near arena to be demolished, rebuilt with retail or housing

Religious leaders will bulldoze a crumbling-but-historic church steps from the Barclays Center and construct a new house of worship — and a shopping or living space above it, church officials say.

Congregation leaders at Church of the Redeemer — a 150-year-old brick building on Pacific Street and Fourth Avenue — say the aging edifice must be demolished because it’s structurally unsafe.

“We want to take something condemned and turn it into something beautiful,” said congregation spokesman Shawn Duncan.

The Episcopal church plans to partner with a private developer to construct a building with a church on the ground floor and either residential or commercial space above it.

Duncan said no details about the size or aesthetics of the building have been confirmed — but city zoning permits a structure up to 120 feet tall, or roughly ten stories, at the site.

Neighbors mourned the loss of the charming structure, which sits on a piece of real estate near the soon-to-open arena, saying several other old and beautiful houses of worship have been demolished in recent years in the so-called Borough of Churches.

“It’s sad,” said Howard Kollins, a Boerum Hill resident. “These churches should be preserved — but they are difficult to maintain.”

Kollins added that news tenants should be encouraged to use public transportation to ease traffic near the Barclays Center.

The congregation now “wants to work with neighbors” on a plan for the site, Duncan said.

“We want the building reborn in a positive way,” he said.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at [email protected] or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.