Rick Hampson, USA TODAY
NEW YORK (USA Today)—Our Lady of Vilnius Church, built by families of immigrant Lithuanian longshoremen, started out a century ago as a beloved worship space. Now, it’s a coveted real estate asset.
In 2013, six years after the church was closed, it was sold for $13 million to one of the city’s biggest developers. The following year that company flipped it like a pancake to another developer for $18.4 million.
Now the yellow brick church near the entrance to the Holland Tunnel awaits demolition to make way for an 18-story luxury apartment house.
“It makes you cynical,” says Christina Nakraseive, a former parishioner who supported the legal case against the church closing until it was rejected by the state’s highest court. “It seems like it’s all about real estate.”