Evangelist Creflo Dollar wants to take the Kingsbridge Armory in Bronx, N.Y., and transform it into a megachurch.
Dollar, pastor of World Changers Church International in College Park, Ga., has offered to gain control of the long inactive building, according to the New York Post, and if he has his way he will have another large center for his followers.
Dollar’s ministries and business ventures bring in millions of dollars per year and he is planning on paying for the development with his own money.
Kingsbridge Armory, also known as the Eighth Regiment Armory, was built in the 1910s and is a five-acre site. It is one of the largest armories in the country but has been sitting empty for some 15 years now.
Earlier plans to transform it into a shopping mall fell through in 2009 after the City Council rejected the plan.
Years later, no solid plans have been presented for the armory. According to the New York Post, Dollar wants to convert the place to serve multiple purposes, such as a convention center, church, and an arena.
Calls and e-mails to World Changers were not immediately returned.
Currently, Dollar has a huge megachurch arena near Atlanta that seats 8,500 people. World Changers Church International also has 13 satellite churches across the country, including Brookly and Queens, N.Y. According to the Creflo Dollar Ministries website, 20 more satellite sites are planned for.
The megachurch pastor is known for his controversial schooling of prosperity theology and he is also the publisher of CHANGE magazine, a quarterly international publication with almost 100,000 subscribers.
Recently, Dollar has been scrutinized heavily for his luxurious lifestyle. He was one of six pastors in 2007 that was probed by Sen. Chuck Grassley of the Senate Finance Committee about his tax status.
Dollar and his wife live in a million-dollar mansion in Atlanta that is owned by the church and owns a $2.5 million apartment in the Time Warner Building in New York City. And when he flies it’s in a Gulfstream jet. He also received two Rolls-Royces as a gift from congregants, according to a report by the Grassley office.
He does not disclose financial statements but The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported during the Senate probe that his 30,000-member church alone took in $69 million in 2006.
Dollar needs to get Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s approval to purchase the Kingsbridge Armory.