Sunday, June 20, 2010
Will Woodside get a new park?
From the Sunnyside Post:
On Tuesday, June 15th Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, Community Board 2 Chairman, Joseph Conley, and concerned neighbors joined forces in an attempt to save Woodside Triangle Park.
The Woodside Triangle is an odd island at at the junction of 34th Avenue and 59th and 60th streets. It has been used by residents as a de facto park for five decades–despite being privately owned.
The once thriving parcel of greenery was recently in the works to be Woodside’s newest Community Park. Despite impending approval of a capital funding request, developers who took over the property annihilated the once vibrant landscape and all that is left are piles of dirt. The developer wants to build a home on the 1,265-square foot lot.
The on-going battle to purchase the property has been brewing for nearly two years, but Van Bramer took issue to resolve this issue by taking the steps to secure the funds required to finally purchase this much-needed community space. The capital funding request which is less than two weeks from being finalized is the answer to this long standing issue. However, despite the significant progress being made, developers have turned a blind eye resulting in the complete destruction of one of Woodside’s rare green spaces.
From the Queens Chronicle:
Developer Vinny Oppedisano let everyone know what he wanted as he drove up in a black sedan, wearing sunglasses and slicked back hair: money. Oppedisano interrupted Van Bramer’s rally against his planned construction, demanding he be paid for the community’s continuous use of his property.
“When are you guys going to give me a check?” he shouted from the car. “Give me a check and I’ll leave right now.”
The developer had planned to build a one-family home on the island between the intersection of 59th and 60th Streets and 34th Avenue.
He said he offered the lot to the city five years ago for $50,000, but that officials refused to purchase it.
After a lot of back and forth between Oppedisano and a raucous Woodside crowd that broke out in to chants of “Shame on you!” and “You’re out of line!” Oppedisano agreed to wait until July 1 to build, by which time Van Bramer, who did not specify the cost, promised to have enough money from the City Council to buy the land from him. Recent reports and Community Board 2 Chairman Joseph Conley put the price tag of the land at around $300,000.