This is what Private Entities Force on our Public Parks: BID pushes Private Restaurant at Union Square

Via Gothamist: Judges: Union Square Pavilion CAN be turned into a brunch destination

A panel of New York State appellate judges have unanimously rejected a lawsuit brought by park advocates to prevent the City from turning the historic Union Square Park Pavilion into an upscale seasonal restaurant. “The seasonal restaurant and holiday market concessions at issue do not violate the public trust doctrine,” the judges wrote. …

Geoffrey Croft of NYC Park Advocates, who sits on the board of the group who filed the suit, called the decision “disappointing but expected, based on the types of questions and comments some of the judges made at the hearing. Judging by the length and lack of information contained in the ruling, it seems clear they put little effort into this.” The ruling itself is in fact under 200 words.

“The Bloomberg administration and Union Square Partnership should be ashamed of themselves for trying to take away desperately needed play space in that community,” Croft added. “It speaks volumes about priorities. It’s disgraceful that the needs of the community and especially children—not to mention park policy—are allowed to be dictated by a BID.”

Jennifer Falk, the executive director of the Union Square Partnership, said in a statement, “This terrific new amenity will enliven the park, making it even more inviting and safer for all visitors. We look forward to welcoming everyone to Union Square Park’s new concession next spring.”

I covered the early days of this ‘fight’ again and again here. See Union Square: Not for Sale

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