Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday ordered a state investigation into Mayor Bill de Blasio’s controversial plan to move an East Harlem playground, which would make way for a $1 billion mixed-income residential tower at 96th Street and Second Avenue.
Before the city can proceed with plans for a high-rise tower on the site, the state must determine whether or not Marx Brothers Playground is officially parkland, the New York Post reported. The city planned to relocate the playground in order to make way for a 1,100-unit, mixed-income residential tower.
But Cuomo ordered an investigation of the land’s historical records and uses to determine whether or not the site is simply a playground or counts as parkland. He said the latter “should not provide zoning bonuses to private industry,” but playgrounds “are a different classification and may be eligible for zoning incentives, and no state approval of alienation is necessary.”
The governor believes that the land will ultimately be classified as parkland, which could complicate the project.