Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Where Oh Where Did My Parkland Go?

The machinations around the Yankee Stadium development may have ramifications for the BTM merchants. In Saturday's Post story it was reported that the Park's Department was planning to tear down the current stadium and replace it with the lost park land eliminated for the new Yankee Stadium. As a spokesman said, "That space is big enough for three ballfields..."

What this all means is unclear since a swath of land that is part of the current BTM footprint is also being set aside as a replacement for the parkland being lost to the Yankees. If so, then it might be possible to keep the merchants on the existing site. It might also allow for the promulgation of the vision that Chelsea Markets founder Irwin Cohen has for an International Wholesale-Retail Market that would feature some of the exotic fare that is currently sold at the BTM.

That being said, the current ULURP application for the Gateway/BTM project does include the aforementioned parkland. Does this mean that EDC, the lead agency on Gateway, doesn't know what Parks is up to?

The issue of the landmark status of Yankee Stadium also needs to be clarified. In the same Post piece, the Landmarks Commission is quoted as saying that Yankee Stadium is of "'no architectural significance.'" Still to be heard from, however, is the community. According to the Bronx Voices for Equal Inclusion’s Greg Bell, the overwhelming local sentiment is to renovate the existing ballpark, keeping it at its current location.