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Owner of Rivergate Apts Files Plans For New Retail Building, Records Show

 Joseph Slifka Park is adjacent to the View 34 apartments at 401-429 E. 34th St. in Manhattan.
Joseph Slifka Park is adjacent to the View 34 apartments at 401-429 E. 34th St. in Manhattan.
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DNAinfo/Heather Holland

MURRAY HILL — The owner of a Murray Hill apartment complex and an adjoining privately-owned public space has filed plans for a new one-story commercial building, months after getting the OK from Community Board 6 for its plan to downsize the park, records show.

UDR, a Colorado-based firm that owns the View 34 apartment complex and Joseph Slifka Park at East 34th Street and First Avenue is looking to build a 1-story structure with room for a retail or an eatery, according to plans filed last week with the Department of Buildings.

►SEE ALSO: Owner Free to Build on Top of Park Without Rezoning, Community Board Says

►SEE ALSO: Property Owner Plans to Close Playground to Build Retail Space

The plans are the next step in a long-delayed push by the firm to build retail on the northwest corner of the privately-owned public space (known as a POPS) that fronts the complex along First Avenue between East 24th and East 35th streets.

Although the park will become smaller, UDR has said in the past that it plans to revamp the rest of the space and add a dog run.

A spokesman for UDR did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The owner of the complex, which was formerly known as Rivergate, is required to maintain the public space on the property through a deal made in 1982 between the original developer and the city that led to the creation of Slifka Park. But in 1985 the developer built the park larger than was required, which gives UDR leeway to revert some of it back to private use.

UDR initially filed a plan with the City Planning Commission to build on the space, but when the Community Board objected, the commission ordered UDR to come to a compromise with the board. But that led to an extended internal dialogue among board members, who were split on whether or not the plan for the park should go through the city’s uniform land-use review process, which is required for changes to the use of city-owned land.

Ultimately the board voted 17-7 last October against a resolution calling for a ULURP because the planning commission determined that Slifka Park is not city land.

It was not immediately clear when construction might begin or for how long the park would have to close during construction.