Community Board Fights for Public Park at 52nd Street
By Meredith Hoffman
HELL'S KITCHEN — An apartment complex on 52nd Street has violated its pledge to turn a swath of public space into a park and playground, instead turning it into a featureless stone walkway, community board leaders said.
An untended plot of land on 52nd Street between Tenth and Eleventh avenues was originally intended to be converted into public park space under a 2004 agreement, but current owner Archstone apartments has since violated the terms of the agreement, according to Community Board 4 officials.
"Tenants complain that their doormen say not to go in the space," CB4 Co-Chair Joe Restuccia said at a land use meeting last Wednesday. "It’s supposed to be a public space but there’s not a single seat. It’s foreboding looking."
The City Planning Committee in 2004 required that in exchange for getting rights to turn the space into apartment housing, developer Dermot would have to create two open areas, of 6,000 square-feet and 7,000 square feet, include a children’s playground, walkways, plantings, and furniture, according to CB4.
Restuccia speculated that miscommunication could have occurred when the land changed hands, from Dermot real estate company to Archstone apartments.
Spokespeople for Archstone and Dermot were not available for comment.
Restuccia said the board would send a letter to Archstone apartments requesting they live up to the terms of their agreement with the city.