City Paper is not for tourists
Kevin Diaz acts as if this is a new concept, a church leasing property it owns for development (“God Is in the Real Estate,” 3/31). New York City development has a long historic relationship with many churches surrounding the Manhattan area: St. Bartholomew’s near the old Met and St. Thomas’ on Fifth Avenue both have a couple of million dollars in their endowment funds supported by the real estate they lease. Trinity Episcopal, Wall Street, owns most of the land that nearly all of Wall Street sits on. It has over a billion dollars of assets going toward its endowments.
This is not such a big deal as Diaz is making it out to be. He should do a bit more research and stop trying to make it seem as if the all-powerful Catholic church is being evil and out to make a buck. Inner-city churches have to do something in order to survive. If that means leasing out choice real estate for development, good for them.