A Sutton Place co-op will have a public park in its elevated backyard in just about two years, ending a decades-long battle between the city and its residents.
The esplanade behind 1 Sutton Pace South, on FDR Drive between East 56th and 57th streets, is scheduled to open by fall 2015 if the New York State Department of Transportation approves it. Plans include a tree-lined walkway, benches and game tables.
The backyard battle started in 1939, when the city wanted to build the FDR but the co-op didn’t want the road, DNAinfo reported. The two finally reached an agreement: the co-op got a 50-year lease for the land and the city got its freeway. The deal expired in the 1990s; in 2011, residents of the 13-story building agreed to share the patch and transform it into a park, as previously reported.
City Council member Jessica Lappin and the Sutton Place co-op raised a combined $2 million for the project.
If the state signs off, the bidding process will begin by next summer. The contractor is then expected to finish the project in a year, Parks Department representative Mark Vaccaro said at a Community Board 6 meeting. [DNAinfo] — Mark Maurer