Not content to merely destroy a volunteer-run Brooklyn community garden, developer Steve Billings of TYC Realty has decided to rub salt in the wounds of the Roger That Community Garden's operators by telling them that they can have their garden back, provided they can come up with $1 million. Clearly they can't since their initial offer for the small plot, located on the corner of Rogers Avenue and Park Place in Crown Heights, was $15,000, and last we heard they were struggling to raise the $80,000 that they thought the site was worth. It's unclear what Billings hopes to accomplish by naming his price, other than to really drive home the point that the garden is going away and there's nothing that anybody can do about it.
Billings acquired the property last November for next to nothing — the Post speculates that he managed to track down the daughter of the owner, who had accumulated $8,580 in unpaid tax liens, and somehow got her to sign over the deed for $10. He originally said that he would sell the site for $500,000, according to a community member who has tried to negotiate, later doubling that number for unknown reasons. In June, he erected a fence around the site, blocking access to the garden.
· Developer demands $1M from Crown Heights garden volunteers [NYP]
· Roger That Garden coverage [Curbed]