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Peter Cooper Village's Sandy-Ravaged Plants Won't Be Replaced Until 2014

 A property-wide landscape project will take longer to complete due to flood damage during Sandy.
Stuy Town To Restore Damaged Landscape By 2014
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STUYVESANT TOWN — A major effort to beautify Peter Cooper Village with new flowers and bushes was swamped by Hurricane Sandy, leaving the complex with many bare patches of dirt this spring.

Management planted 1,500 trees, shrubs, grasses and perennials at Peter Cooper Village and neighboring Stuyvesant Town before the hurricane last fall, as part of a sweeping landscaping project, complex officials said.

But the 9 feet of salt water that flooded the basements of Peter Cooper Village killed nearly all of the newly planted greenery — and the plants won't be completely replaced until 2014, officials said.

“Unfortunately, this spring will be particularly challenging for the landscaping in PCV,” Compass Rock, which manages the property, said in a recent notice to residents. “As we feared, it appears the salt water killed many of the plants that it touched. [The last phases of the project] will now be expanded beyond their original scopes to ensure restoration of the grounds.”

The "multi-year, property-wide" landscaping upgrade was originally supposed to finish by this spring, providing more grass coverage and introducing more native, sustainable plants, managers said in a statement.

Some of those plants have already begun to arrive, including roses and hydrangeas, but as of last week there were still large barren stretches of ground at both Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town, though the gardens at Stuyvesant Town are set to be restored first.

“We didn’t have much [landscaping] to begin with,” said a resident of Peter Cooper Village for the past 16 years, who declined to give her name. “Overall, they’ve concentrated on the front of the entrances and on Stuy Town. In the past, we got yews, which are probably the ugliest things you can imagine.”

Another resident said the lack of landscaping was one of many reasons he decided to move out of Peter Cooper Village.

“The only thing luxury about the place is the Manhattan address,” said Rapheo Cantos, 60, who’s lived in the complex for 16 years.

Other residents said they didn’t mind the wait, as long as the neighborhood looks better.

“The new landscaping will definitely make the place look more attractive,” said Lucie O’Brien, an 89-year-old resident of Peter Cooper Village.