From Pray to Play to Pay?

churchThe 163-year-old landmark building, which was once a Chelsea church, then a nightclub called Limelight, could be a shopping mall by Christmas. “The Limelight Marketplace” will home 80 different high-end shops and one restaurant. The residents of the neighborhood are happy to see the nightclub go, as it was often an epicenter for drugs and crime, but are skeptical about the new mall, considering that the mall is just a jumping off point for putting in another club.

The New York Post reported that Jessica Shrier, the spokeswoman for Limelight Marketplace assures residents that the space will “absolutely not” be a nightclub, and “There will be one fine-dining restaurant with liquor, but there will be no dancing, no cabaret whatsoever.” Shrier says the marketplace will be a great place for the community as it will be creating jobs for locals.

Still, the community is worried that adding shopping stores will add more banners to the outside of the church, which will take away from the church’s character. Shrier bounced back by saying “We understand all of the concern, but what we are trying to do is bring a fresh shopping area to this long-empty location.” Then adding,  “There’s going to be nothing else like it.”

Limelight Marketplace: Hot new shopping destination to liven up the community? Or commercialized shopping mall ruining an important landmark fixture? Let me know what you think.