An ongoing battle to save Park Church Co-op from falling into the hands of developers might have a Hail Mary in the works.
The New York State Supreme Court will allow public commentary from the community during an online hearing taking place this Thursday. It’s welcome news for many Greenpoint residents who have spent years fighting to keep this space alive.
“While public testimony about the disposition of this church is unlikely to alter the outcome of this transaction, nevertheless we feel it is important to register the perspective of the community, which has seen our numerous attempts to work with the seller to broker a more salutary outcome rebuffed,” said a press release from Common Place, the group organizing to save the church.
“Paramount among our concerns is the demonstrable foolishness of reducing the stock of available public space in Greenpoint in order to inflate the stock of high-end commercial real-estate—an action which will both drive up costs of housing in an already stressed area, and remove a key venue for the practice and strengthening of community.”
The sale of a building operating under a religious non-profit requires review from the New York State Office of the Attorney General.
After years of wavering support towards the beloved Greenpoint space, the Metropolitan New York Synod, the church’s larger operating body, announced last year that it would be discontinuing its funding for Park Church and eventually sold it to property developers. Concerned locals fought back immediately, attempting to save a space that not only served as a religious home, but a community space host to all manner of events and programming.
To church supporters, the sale of Park Church is just one in a larger pattern of the Synod closing other Lutheran churches under its purview and selling them off to developers.
This winter, Greenpointers ran a series of op-eds from Park Church supporters sharing their favorite memories of the space.