Court halts Union Square Pavilion construction
A group of area residents and activists have gotten an injunction to stop any further work at the pavilion in Union Square.
The city has hoped to put a new, high-end restaurant in the area that was previously a children’s play area.
Residents fear that putting part of the park in private hands could cut into space for the famed Union Square Greenmarket.
“The restaurant would take away the opportunity to reclaim thousands of square feet of additional play space in a community with the lowest amount of playground space and highest concentration of restaurants in the city,” said Geoffrey Croft, president of NYC Park Advocates.
The suit alleges that if the city is going to take away park land in order to give it to private interests, it must receive permission from the state legislature.
“Less space for kids to run around means that they have to stay indoors and play video games or play somewhere where they can’t be supervised,” said Jonathan Borock, 29, who used to play on the playground by the now-fenced off pavilion.
“It was a rare place for kids in the city to experience something other than buildings, to experience the outdoors.”
City lawyer Ramin Pejan disagreed with the court’s ruling.
“We are disappointed that the court enjoined construction for one week. The city is confident in its legal position and the merits of this project.”
-- David Freedlander