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Residents Plan Sunday Event to Create “Community Space” at 181 Stanton Street

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As you can see from this flyer, there’s an organizing event on Sunday at 181 Stanton Street, which local activists want to reclaim for a community garden.  But there’s a twist to this story.  181 Stanton is part of a development parcel (also including 137-139 Attorney Street), which is destined to become a five-story residential building.

This past spring, Community Board 3 gave its blessing to the city to sell 181 Stanton and 137 Attorney Street to the estate of Bill Gottlieb. As we reported last year, 139 Attorney Street has been part of Gottlieb’s huge Manhattan portfolio for decades.  The activists, however, have other ideas.  Sunday’s event is being coordinated through “596 Acres,” an organization which helps “neighbors form connections to the vacant public lots in their lives.” There’s a long conversation on the web site detailing the organizers’ efforts to reclaim the space.

Sunday’s event takes place from 1-4 p.m.


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  1. The 596 acres signs have gone up on vacant lots throughout the neighborhood and city for that matter.

    This clean-up effort is primarily local residents and based largely on prior efforts. They came together in part due to the prior use of a small part of these empty lots for gardening. Also immediate neighbors were aware that their air and light were being threatened if the city owned lots were to be given away and built on. Also it bears noting that the gardeners are committed to working with CB3.

  2. CORRECTION TO ARTICLE: Only the lot at 139 Attorney Street is owned by Gottlieb heirs. It is less than 19 feet wide and therefore not viable for development purposes. NYC HPD owns 137 Attorney as well as 181 Stanton, together comprising approximately 2/3 of the land on which the developer wishes to build.

    You can verify this on the city’s “OASIS” map for the property at : http://www.oasisnyc.net/map.aspx?zoomto=lot:1003440157

    This is an important point — the Gottlieb estate owns a piece of land purchased years ago on speculation, that is fairly useless for residential development. They have done nothing to improve it nor to put it to any good use. On the other hand, locals have planted now-grown trees and have been gardening the lots.

    Therefore lot organizers are not reclaiming the land, they are maintaining the land as they have been doing. And just to be clear, no property transfer of the public land has occurred.

    ilyse kazar
    founder, unlikely voters

  3. thanks so much! i tried editing my original comment to thank you but got the message that my comment is now hidden due to “abuse reports” ????? maybe i edited too many times, it was early when i typed the original comment & ended up making several edits instead of getting it right the first time :-) sure hope i’m not banned form the Lo-Down … ilyse

  4. Exactly. If they weren’t planning on the city giving them the 2 HPD lots, the Gottlieb lot would be almost worthless in and of itself since it is SO small and has no access to Stanton Street. Also your prior article points out that the Gottlieb lot was bought from the city years ago at auction for a pittance; the Gottlieb heirs are now asking for $1.5M for the combined lots.

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