East Side co-op ends 10-year backyard battle with city

From left: One Sutton Place South (credit: PropertyShark) and an overhead view of its backyard (credit: Google Maps)
The residents of the co-op at 1 Sutton Place South have ended a 10-year battle with the city over a small portion of their backyard overlooking the East River. The New York Times reported that residents of the 13-story building, located between 56th and 57th streets, have agreed to share the 10,000-square-foot patch of the building’s elevated backyard with the city and transform it into a community park. Each party will contribute $1 million to the construction of the park.

The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation had been trying to claim a portion of the yard for public use as it connects two existing community parks on the eastern ends of 56th and 57th Streets. The city had originally leased the land to the co-op for $1 per year after it seized most of the building’s former backyard to Build The Fdr Drive. When the city moved to take control of the space again, the co-op responded with a lawsuit.

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Under the agreement, the city will release its ownership claim to about 4,000 square feet of land closest to the building, while the co-op will release its claim to the remaining portion closest to the East River. [NYT]