Jun 28, 2011, 6:57 PM EST
Rivera spoke at a news conference Tuesday, saying his Spanish-language congregation had been looking for a permanent home and that he fell in love with the North Avenue Church in New Rochelle the moment he saw it.
The church, built in 1907, has long been vacant and has been city-owned for decades. It’s fallen into such disrepair that its bell tower had to be removed last year for safety reasons.
Mayor Noah Bramson says Rivera’s church will lease the building, restore it and eventually buy it for $1. The cost of the restoration has been estimated at $3 million.
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