The Real Deal New York

Proposed UES medical complex wooing community with park

April 15, 2013 10:00AM

A proposed million-square-foot medical and college complex on the Upper East Side is gaining community support with a promise to build new park space in the neighborhood, DNAinfo reported.

The mammoth City University of New York and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center project had been likened to “a fat lady trying to squeeze into a too-tight girdle,” at a recent community meeting, according to DNAinfo. But people are increasingly rallying behind the project — which consists of an ambulatory cancer care hospital and nursing school and would require controversial zoning changes — due to its pledge to overhaul Andrew Haswell Green Park.

“We have virtually no park space on the East Side,” neighborhood resident Roberta Tarshis told DNAinfo. “Sometimes, we have to get out of the concrete jungle and sit in the sun a little, and a park benefits the entire neighborhood.”

“I’d love to be able to take my grandchildren to the park rather than schlepping them all the way to Central Park with my cane,” Dave Gillespie told DNAinfo.

But those in opposition point out that Andrew Haswell Green Park is not directly next to the planned development. Though neighborhood resident George Alexiades told DNAinfo that he was in favor of a park, he added that it “is not going to benefit the [community] members that are going to be particularly impacted by this building.” [DNAinfo]  –Hiten Samtani