Monday, December 05, 2011

Church and Real Estate: Occupy Hudson Square meets opposition in OLV Country

I heard about it on 1010 WINS this morning and read about it on the Daily News site ("Three Occupy Wall Street protesters busted for trespass in church-owned lot") The article explains:

"This strike is part of a month-long campaign to gain access to the site, where Trinity is developing a residential high-rise tower, the occupiers said.

The trio submitted a letter to Trinity Wall Street Sunday night, notifying them of three additional strikers who joined the group, along with a list of demands."

Trinity Real Estate, the real estate arm of the Episcopal church on Wall Street, holds the lion's share of office space in OLV country, also known as Hudson Square. It is backing a residential rezoning of the neighborhood. A Business Improvement Distric, Hudson Square Connection, is attempting to bolster real estate values with an aesthetic facelift of the area. On November 27, 2011, Hudson Square Connection kicked off the holiday season with an installation of "Flaming Cacti". These objets d'art are neither cacti, nor flaming. In fact they are not even illuminated.

Trinity Wall Street's web site states that revenue from the church's real estate holdings make it possible for the parish to do its good works. Could efforts to increase revenue end up having a negative impact on the area? I am pretty sure that if real estate values had not escalated Our Lady of Vilnius would still be open. Instead of attempting to work up some appreciation of the environmentally correct, cognoscenti-sanctioned "cacti" I would be feasting my eyes on Our Lady of Vilnius' molded plastic illuminated creche.

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