Got Ideas for UN Land Swap and East River Esplanade? Electeds Want to Know

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

By Amy Zimmer

MANHATTAN — East Side residents have long been complaining about how much less appealing their waterfront is compared to the pristine piers and bike paths on the West Side.

Besides the sinkhole-laden stretch of waterfront along the East River from East 60th to 125th streets, the chunk between East 38th to 59th streets isn’t even open to the public.

That mile-long gap might finally be completed if a complicated deal involving the United Nations building an office tower on parkland works out along with other serious financial, engineering and security issues.

The area’s elected officials — state Sen. Liz Krueger, state Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh and City Councilman Dan Garodnick — are calling on residents to provide input in a series of public forums in August and September on the negotiations, which they announced Thursday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo passed a law that would allow the UN to build an office tower on Robert Moses Playground on First Avenue between 41st and 42nd streets in exchange for a major park and improving open space along the East River.

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