Get the Facts
- In July 2011, Governor Cuomo signed legislation proposed by the City of New York to authorize the United Nations—one of the City’s biggest employers and sources of revenue—to expand its campus for the first time in decades.
- The U.N.’s expansion involves real estate transactions that will generate between $200 and $400 million.
- A large portion of those funds will be used by the City to build a new promenade along the East River from 38th to 60th Streets—the last remaining gap in the East Side greenway—and other park investments that would otherwise go unfunded.
- The promenade will give residents of Turtle Bay access to their waterfront for the first time in more than a half a century and add needed open space to the East Side, which has the lowest ratio of park land to residents and workers in the City
- The project will increase the overall open space on the East Side by approximately 130,000 square feet. That’s more than four times the 29,000sf at Robert Moses Playground, which the UN would purchase from the City, and includes the development of the ODR Esplanade (53rd-60th Streets), the UN Esplanade, the ConEd Waterside Pier, and Asser Levy Playground at 23rd Street.
- Asser Levy Playground would be expanded as a replacement for Robert Moses Playground. There is no children’s play equipment at Robert Moses Playground, just blacktop.
- In sum: the benefits of the project are an expansion of one of New York City’s most important institutions and, using proceeds from the expansion, a major investment by the City to reclaim central waterfront space for residents.
- For the legislation to take effect, state legislators must reach agreement with the City by October 10 in a memorandum of understanding governing the terms of the transactions.
For more information, check out the website set up by East Side officials to keep the community informed about the Greenway project and receive your feedback: www.EastSideOpenspace.com