A coalition of community groups and parks advocates who brought the lawsuit say the city needs to get approval from the state legislature before privatizing part of the park, which has long been a flashpoint for protests and rallies.
...parks advocate Geoffrey Croft says the new 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.”
Opponents also speculate that restaurateur Danny Meyer, owner of Union Square's Coffee Shop and Madison Square Park's Shake Shack, is heavily favored for the Pavilion restaurant contract – perhaps a too-cozy arrangement because Meyer is also co-chair of the Union Square Partnership’s Local Development Corporation, which is financing much of the project.
The Parks Department is also planning to cut down approximately 14 mature trees, so a protest rally is planned for Arbor Day in Union Square, this Friday at 6 p.m.
Judge Halts City's Union Square Development
So, since we're investigating the City Council and the Department of Buildings, why not open an investigation into the Parks Department? They're going to cut down 14 trees here. I guess the million trees initiative is suspended for now.
Photo from Gothamist