By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Community Board 6 is exploring opportunities to create more open space in the district and discussed the possibility of utilizing city-owned property to do so at the most recent Land Use and Waterfront committee meeting earlier this month.
Committee Chair Terrence O’Neal said that the board is currently combing the neighborhood for spaces owned by the city that might be available, but it isn’t always a straightforward transaction.
“When (the city does) own property, they want to make something out of it,” he said, referencing the deal the city made with Brookdale and Hunter College for the planned sanitation garage.
Although residents are still fighting the plan, the sanitation garage proposal for the Brookdale site at East 25th Street and First Avenue came about because the original site of the sanitation garage, at East 74th Street and York Avenue, was sold to Memorial Sloan Kettering hospital. The sale provided funding for the garage, which needed to be replaced, and the land on East 25th Street will revert back to city ownership when Hunter College moves the facilities currently in that space up to Yorkville as part of the MSK project.