Is this a warning bell to developers across the city? Despite opposition, a developer in Staten Island tore down a beloved community center to make way for condos. But in a win for locals, new residents at this condo complex will be forced to live on streets, the names for which mean "greed" and "deceit" among others, the New York Post reports.
If you just went "what?" with utter confusion, you're not alone. Here's what happened: The condo complex is located on a 15-acre property that was once home to Mount Manresa, a Jesuit retreat. In 2013, the Jesuits decided they wanted to sell the property, and in early 2014, developer Savo Brothers purchased the site for $15 million. In an attempt to stop the condo-fication of the site, community members petitioned elected officials and even tried to have the property landmarked. None of those efforts ultimately panned out, and instead the buildings were razed, with hundreds of trees, some as many as 400 years old, cut down.
One person who had been campaigning against the development from the start was Staten Island's borough president, James Oddo. As a City Councilman in 2010, he tried to have the land rezoned, according to the Post. He even tried to get it made into a school or a park, but that didn't work either.
So, as borough president, he used a little known function that was part of his responsibility: choosing new street names. And he went with "Cupidity Drive," "Fourberie Lane," and "Avidita Place." Cupidity means lust for for wealth; Fourberie is French for deceit, and Avidita is Italian for greed. The developers challenged the naming in the State Supreme Court, but last week the judge ruled that Oddo was well within his rights to name the streets—so even though they're somewhat obscured by being in another language, there's no changing that someone will eventually live on Greed Place.
· Staten Island wins battle to stick developer with 'greedy' street names [NYPost]
· Trying to Save a Quiet Place on Staten Island [NYTimes]