PHILADELPHIA (Christian Examiner) – The American Bible Society is leaving its historic headquarters on Broadway in New York to move to the historic district in Philadelphia, by summer.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported the ministry's Chief Executive Officer Roy Peterson as saying the decision to leave NYC was "heart-wrenching" because the nonprofit had been there for 199 years. But moving to Philadelphia will improve quality of life for his staff, he said.
"People can afford to live here [in Philadelphia], it's walkable, there's public transportation," Peterson told the Inquirer. "Our staff commutes an hour or two . . . from Long Island, the Bronx."
Its new offices—leased space of about 100,000 square feet for 25 years with a 25-year renewal option—will be located just steps away from Independence Mall, where the Liberty Bell is located. ABS has proposed creating a Bible Discovery Center at its new location, as well as a conference center, rare Scriptures depository, and library.
"Our new Philadelphia headquarters will become the launching pad for Bible ministry in the U.S. and around the world," Peterson said in a statement.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter told the newspaper more than 200 jobs would transfer to the city. But Peterson said a small contingent would remain in New York to continue ongoing partnerships with religious institutions there.
The Inquirer reports the Society has put up for sale its building at 1865 Broadway at 61st Street: "Last year, it was priced at $300 million."
The goal of the Society is to convert the Bible into every language around the globe. It has produced 750 to 1,000 translations so far, with plans to produce another 1,800 renditions from 7,000 known tongues worldwide.