The idea was to use some property immediately behind the church to construct a tower with offices and meeting space for the church at the bottom, and condos at the top. The church would have gotten $20 million to help keep it afloat, plus a lot of much needed space to conduct and expand its programs that help the community.
But that didn't sit well with the neighborhood NIMBYs, especially those in SOAR and across the street at the John Hancock Center. They didn't want the 64-story tower taking away their views -- the same views they took away from people in other buildings when the 100-story Hancock Center went up decades ago. They cited traffic, noise, light, congestion, and neighborhood character as reasons it shouldn't go up. Interestingly, those are all the same arguments that were made against the construction of the Hancock Center back in the 1960's.
Now that the Fourth Presbyterian Tower is dead, what next for the church? It's hard to say. The tower proposal was a drastic step to keep the church alive and well, not just some money-making lark. If Fourth Presbyterian moves or closes, we'll have the usual suspects to blame.