The Real Deal New York

Brooklyn developer demands $1M from community gardeners

The developer picked up the land for peanuts late last year

August 17, 2014 11:00AM

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A community garden in Crown Heights

A community garden in Crown Heights

A small-time Brooklyn developer is demanding $1 million from Crown Height’s locals to keep their community garden.

Steve Billings of TYC Realty claims the sale price of a corner plot on Rogers Avenue in Crown Heights is anywhere from $500,000 to $1 million — Billings paid just $10, that’s right $10 — for the lot in November, according to property records cited by the New York Post.

The garden was created when locals were given permission to tear down an abandoned hardware store in 2006. At the time, neighbors where unable to reach the property’s 78-year-old owner, Dudley McLachlan, about buying the land.

But Billings found McLachlan’s daughter and struck a deal. And as of July 1, the property had $8,580 in unpaid tax liens.

Locals offered Billings $15,000 for the 1,710-square-foot plot, but he is now demanding $1 million.

“This developer is attempting to get $1 million from taxpayers, volunteers and nonprofit donations for something [he] paid nothing for,” fumed volunteer Emily-Bell Dinan. “Despicable!” [NYP]Christopher Cameron

  • JS

    We live in a free market economy.

    • TheMysteryTramp

      You believe that? Really? How freely people on this blog parrot misconceptions.

  • richjew

    Why do the locals think that 15k is the “right” price

    • Marc

      because it’s a mob like thuggish excuse to steal something that does not belong to you.

  • NYC911

    Yet another liberal minded people who think that communism is the answer. Haven’t people learn that it didn’t work? This is capitalism at its best. A man went out found the right person and bought a property now it’s his to do as he please. If it was me I would ask for 2 mm and I would also start charging rent as of September 1

    • Darren McLellan

      Communism? Really?

      Just STFU

      • Marc

        A nice thuggish response trying to silence the truth. Yes, liberals believe in communism. Some 70 years ago there were whole apartment buildings in NYC populated by like minded proud communists but it attracted unwanted attention and they smartly started calling themselves “progressives”. It’s the same thing. It’s all Socialism. liberalism has only shifted far to the left since then. It might make you angry and attempt to silence NYC911 but what he stated was the truth. When you want something for free or attempt to take another mans property for the “common good” or whatever other phony reason, that’s 100% communism.

        • TheMysteryTramp

          ” When you want something for free…that’s 100% communism.”
          You mean all the corporate bailouts and tax breaks?

          • Marc

            Yes.

          • TheMysteryTramp

            General Motors = Communist Fellow Travellers LMAO

            Fools like you give conservatives a bad name.

  • TheMysteryTramp

    Communist…schmoomunist
    Call it what it is: he is a greedy pig.
    And what kind of churl would defend a greedy pig?
    Only other greedy pigs.

  • GoodForThisGuy

    He’s not attempting to get $1 million from “taxpayers, volunteers, etc.”. He’s attempting to get a fair market price for the land. I hope he gets it. I wish I would have uncovered this motivated seller and in a position to make a hefty profit on my effort. People around here have bizarre definitions of “greed” and “fairness”.

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