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United Nations Gets Closer to Taking Over East Side Playground

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A few days ago, the state legislature said okay to a bill?still awaiting the governor's signature?that would give the United Nations permission to build an office tower on the Robert Moses Playground at 42nd Street and First Avenue. The plan?illustrated in the Wall Street Journal diagram at right?has been in the works for a while, but it's not quite time for the kids to pack away their toys. A few hurdles remain! City and state officials have until October 10 to work out a memorandum of understanding for the project. The General Assembly would have to vote on bonds to finance the construction, something that's unlikely to happen this fall. And, perhaps the biggest issue of all, the city has to find some replacement playground space (the park's current basketball and handball courts and the FDR Drive dog run will stay where they are, but the new U.N. staff tower would still eat up 29,000 square feet of blacktop play space). The community has stayed quiet on the plan so far, but we could see that changing if a new park location doesn't materialize ASAP.
· U.N. Building Plan Proceeds [WSJ]
· City Considers Makeover Along East Side Waterfront [Curbed]