Volume 17, Number 51 | May 13 - 19, 2005

Weisbrod’s real estate eye turns north to Hudson Square

By Josh Rogers

Carl Weisbrod, the only man ever to run the Wall Street area’s business improvement district, is leaving after 10 years to turn his attention just to the north to manage Trinity Church’s real estate holdings primarily in Hudson Square.

Weisbrod, 60, the Alliance for Downtown New York’s first and only president, will leave his position running the city’s largest BID at the end of June to become executive vice president of the real estate division of Trinity Church-St. Paul’s Chapel, which is one of the city’s largest landowners with 6 million square feet of office space.

He said he has turned down many job offers over the years but he decided to take this one because it offered a chance to help develop a new neighborhood.

“It’s an incredibly interesting part of New York surrounded by Soho, Tribeca, the West Village and the Hudson River,” he said. “How do we make this a special New York neighborhood?”

Trinity owns commercial property in the neighborhood while several large residential buildings have opened recently or are under construction. Trinity has been moving to create a BID in the neighborhood. Weisbrod said regardless of the outcome, it is important to develop a strong relationship with residents and business owners on what’s best for the neighborhood. BIDs are financed by property owners and usually provide extra sanitation and other services.

The Rev. Dr. James H. Cooper, the church’s rector, said Weisbrod “has a long track record in Lower Manhattan and in Times Square of community building.”

Before joining the Alliance, Weisbrod was president of the city’s Economic Development Corp. and the New York State 42nd Street Development Project.

In an interview in February coinciding with the Alliance’s 10-year anniversary, Weisbrod said among his proudest accomplishments were securing a $37 million grant to help small business owners suffering after 9/11, creating the River to River free concert series, launching the Alliance’s free shuttle bus service and working so closely with Community Board 1.

“I’ve loved every single minute of what I’ve done,” he said Wednesday. “I put my heart and soul into it.”

Robert Douglass, Alliance chairperson, said he wants Weisbrod to join the Alliance board of directors when he starts at Trinity July 1. The Alliance’s executive board will soon meet to begin searching for a successor.

Weisbrod will retain his seat on the board of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp.

Cooper said it will be an advantage to have Weisbrod serving on two important boards – the L.M.D.C. and the Alliance. “I’m not on either of those boards but I hoped to be,” said Cooper, who became rector last year.

Weisbrod will succeed Joseph Palombi, who left his position a year ago. Stephen Duggan, Trinity real estate’s chief financial officer, will continue to run the office until Weisbrod takes over.

The church has about eight percent of the land Queen Anne of England gave the parish in 1705 and uses the portfolio to finance charities around the world and in Downtown such as the John Heuss homeless center, and to support programs like its free concert series.

Weisbrod, whose current salary is about $250,000, liked the fact that after many years, his salary will no longer be a matter of public record. “That’s what’s great about the private sector,” said Weisbrod who indeed declined to disclose his new salary.


Josh@DowntownExpress.com

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