Volume 20, Number 40 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | September 29 - October 5, 2010
Trinity Real Estate names new prez
BY John Bayles
The rector of Trinity Wall Street, Reverend Dr. James H. Cooper, didn’t have to look far to replace former Trinity Real Estate president Carl Weisbrod. Indeed, he didn’t even have to leave the office.
Late last week, Cooper named Jason Pizer as the new president of the real estate company that owns six million square feet of space in Lower Manhattan. Pizer has been with Trinity Wall Street for 11 years and was formerly the senior vice president and director of leasing. Weisbrod, who has been with Trinity for five years, announced he was stepping down last May.
“It’s a very good feeling—a flattering feeling,” said Pizer about stepping into Weisbrod’s shoes. “Being here 11 years and seeing the transition, seeing what Carl has done in terms of the neighborhood… I’m proud to say we had a great relationship.”
Cooper said Trinity went through an “assessment process,” looked at the vision for both the church and the real estate company and concluded that Pizer “fit the bill.”
Trinity was a driving force behind the establishment of a business improvement district for Hudson Square, which sits just west of Soho, south of the West Village and north of Canal Street. Over the years the area has morphed from a primarily industrial, printing-oriented commercial environment to a hipper, younger neighborhood that is catering to the arts. Commercial tenants include Viacom, the Guggenheim Foundation, Saatchi + Saatchi and WNYC and CBS Radio.
Pizer said he’s planning on keeping the “momentum” going.
“We’ve had a very good run. We’ve changed over much of the portfolio—from light industrial to media,” said Pizer. “I don’t want to miss a step in the transition of Hudson Square to a more 24/7 neighborhood.”
A more 24/7 neighborhood means more residential buildings. One way to accomplish that is through rezoning, but Pizer prefers calling it “a neighborhood strategy.” He did not give a timetable for any possible new developments but said the strategy for the transition really began 20 years ago.
“Trinity has owned this land for 300 years,” said Pizer. “So whether you’re talking about up-zoning or residential zoning, Trinity has always been committed to building a safe, family-oriented neighborhood, and will continue to be.”
Cooper said the focus would remain on office space, but that residential space is always a “great asset” to any neighborhood. Both mentioned the increase in people walking around Hudson Square and the number of baby-strollers as indicators that things are changing.
And both said the most important aspect moving forward for Trinity is to find tenants, whether residential or commercial, that are committed to the neighborhood.
“City Winery on Varick Street is a great example,” said Pizer. “[Owner] Jason Dorf is primarily a music promoter. But he’s turned City Winery into a destination. People come from all over the city to help make Hudson Square what it has become.”