Sins of the Father

Rev. Louis Gigante, kin to the Genovese crime family, slips from hero to slumlord

A hot debate ensued for an hour. Father G. promised to return to update the tenants on his plans to buy and refurbish the buildings. With that, the priest and his entourage filed out onto the sidewalk, leaving angry tenants inside.

Later, several tenants said Gigante had made them feel that they were to blame for "destroying his creation." Father G., for his part, told a reporter, "This is a local situation that was blown out of proportion." Asked why he removed the tenants' security guards, the priest-turned-businessman replied, "You can't have services you don't pay for." But when asked if he was the one who, in effect, built the Hunts Point I Rehab, his eyes brightened. He bent his knees slightly, raised his arms above his head and proclaimed, "I built the whole neighborhood!"

739 and 741 Coster Street in Hunts Point
photo: Eirini Vourloumis
739 and 741 Coster Street in Hunts Point

Before being whisked away in the black car, Father G. agreed to another interview with the Voice, but he never returned phone calls, nor did he or his management team respond to written requests for information. A few weeks later, however, inside one of the SEBCO offices, Father G.'s nephew Salvatore Gigante responded to queries with this: "I don't want to hear the sound of your voice. No one is going to talk to you. We have nothing to say. Our actions will speak for what we're doing."

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