Private security hired by The Related Company showed up Monday morning to guard Ruppert Playground twenty-four hours a day. In 1983 the City sold the playground to The Related Company in a behind-close door deal against the community's wishes. The deal was orchestrated by a former HPD official who went to work for Related. The community is demanding the real estate giant abandon plans to erect a 49 story building and that the city negotiate a deal to acquire the land back. The community that ranks dead last in the amount of parks and open space in the entire city and has the highest density. (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge.
As promised the Related Company closed Ruppert Playground on Monday. The real estate giant hired three guards from Globe Security to patrol the 1 acre park twenty-four hours a day.
According to a witness, a teen climbed over the fence to play basketball on Monday afternoon and was chased away by two security guards.
Locked and Secured. A guard watches the south side of the park.
On Monday afternoon a portable bathroom and a security booth were delivered to the site.
Over the weekend a representative from Related informed City Council member Dan Garodnick that the company agreed to a limited period to explore alternatives and would not immediately remove structures inside the park. The company would not say for how long.
It has also been learned that Related had apparently asked the Bloomberg administration for a tax incentive to keep the park open but were turned down.
Over the last two years the public has rallied to save the popular park, located 0n 92nd St. between 2nd and 3rd Ave on Manhattan's Upper East Side from development. On Saturday more than one hundred and fifty people came out to protest the Related Company's planned seizure of Ruppert Playground on Monday.
September 10, 2011. Rally in the park.
For more than 30 years the park has played a vital role in the lives of countless people.
The community is demanding the real estate giant abandon plans to erect a 49 story building in a community that ranks dead last in the amount of parks and open space in the entire city! The neighborhood is demanding the city negotiate a deal to acquire the land back that never should have been sold in the first place.
In 1983 the City sold the land to The Related Company in a behind-close door deal against the community's wishes. The deal was orchestrated by a former HPD official who went to work for Related. On June 30th, 2008, the 1983 Land Disposition Agreement between the Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) and Carnegie Park Associates (The Related Companies) expired. The end of this agreement allowed Related Companies to develop the park. - Geoffrey Croft
WPIX News - September 15, 2011 - By Erica Pitzi
Our Town - September 15, 2011 - By Laura Shin
Upper East Siders Rally as Plans for 49-Story Residential Tower Progress
The Wall Street Journal - September 12, 2011 - By Maura Webber Sadovi
Walk In The Park - September 11, 2011 - By Geoffrey Croft