What’s behind the Mayor’s new west side park?

The Villager revealed a new plan from the Mayor to create three small parks. The announcement appears to be motivated by the steady pressure from supporters of Elizabeth Street Garden.

Statement from NYCCGC on de Blasio's new plan:

More than 100 supporters of Elizabeth Street Garden rallied on Thursday morning outside the pre-submission conference for the Request for Proposals issued by the City. Later that day, Mayor de Blasio announced a plan to create parks on East 4th Street, Grand Street, and Hudson Street while forging ahead with the Elizabeth Street housing development. The plan simply will destroy a park for housing to create a park on a different. This roundabout plan appears to be a response to the pressure brought by Elizabeth Street Garden’s advocates.

If the community garden is taken, it will be due to political motivation eclipsing constituent benefit. The move serves Councilmember Chin who promised senior affordable housing in the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area deal. Elizabeth Street Garden is within her district’s boundaries but outside of Community Board 3 and SPURA sites.

The Mayor is also greenwashing the destruction of a community garden with a vague plan. We know little about the new parks including if they would replace the lawns of Elizabeth Street Garden or if the parks will be paved.

New parkland located outside Soho cannot substitute Elizabeth Street Garden for its neighbors. They remain vocal about the need for open space in place, which can be achieved harmoniously with yesterday’s proposal. The New York City Community Garden Coalition urges Mayor de Blasio to heed the community’s request to develop senior housing on the west side, a plan that would 1) yield more affordable housing units for seniors than currently planned, 2) create three new parks as announced, and 3) preserve the Elizabeth Street Garden.