East River Greenways project moves forward with public input

September 13, 2011 02:46PM

Some Tudor City residents have expressed concerns about the East River
Greenways project at open forums, as the city and the state continue
to work on coming to a final agreement for their plan for the site by
Oct. 10, DNAinfo reported.

Under the plan the city would fund a park esplanade from 38th to 60th streets through a deal
with the United Nations. Under the terms of the deal, the U.N. will
purchase the western portion of Robert Moses Playground and build a
tower of offices there. Once that building is constructed, the U.N. will
vacate two city-owned Buildings Across The Street. Funds from the sale
of those buildings and that of Robert Moses Playground between 41st and 42nd streets will finance
the extension of the waterfront. But for the plans to go forward, the
city and the state must finalize the details of their agreement by Oct. 10 with public involvement.

State Senator Liz Krueger reassured community members that the esplanade would
not be too close to their riverside apartments. Other residents were
concerned that that the U.N.’s plan a for 39-story building would
obstruct views and diminish property values, said Brian Thompson,
chair of the community development for the Tudor City Association, and
a real estate broker for and owner of Tudor City. He said residents were also worried the plans
would lead to too great an influx of people into the area. “When you
put an office building across the street,” Thompson said, “it’s going
to put, let’s take a guess, another 1,000 people into the
neighborhood.”

But he also said that the forum also likely changed
residents’ minds about the project toward supporting it more. He said
he would like to see a portion of the money the city will get from the
building sales — anywhere from $800,000 to $1 million — be donated
to the Tudor City gardens to preserve what he called “a critical
aspect of that neighborhood.” District 4, the area in which Robert
Moses Park is located, “is the most under-resourced neighborhood in
the entire city when it comes to parks,” Alyson Beha, director of
research, planning and policy for advocacy group New Yorkers for Parks, said. She
dismissed the complaints laid out by Tudor City residents as
“NIMBY-ism,” referring to the acronym for “not in my backyard.”
[DNAinfo]