Gramercy, Gramercy Park, New York discussed on Morning Edition


The tall gates guarding grammercy park slush interior it's hard not to wonder why can't i go in there while the reason is as old as the park itself but a new investigation from wnyc in gotha missed suggests that the unique arrangement between the city and the land owners of grammercy park is shortchanging the public earlier this week wnyc's leyla yunus and gotha missed christopher robin's spoke with my colleague richard hake about their story grammercy park has always been viewed as a private playground for the wealthy pretty much from the beginning unique key to get in there exactly and when developers sam ruggles created the park and eating thirty one he was able to get the city to give him the land tax free based on the idea that this open space in the crowded city would prevent my asthma's and promote public health but baked into that initial agreement was the idea that property values of homes around the park with access would double so that would bring in more tax revenue for new york city instead of taxing the park are really helps to think of gramercy is more of a front yard rather than a park so all of that happened in at the turn the twentieth century the city began taking a closer look at their property tax revenues and they decided well we're going to start taxing grammercy park so they gave it a value around twenty million dollars the parks trustees didn't like that and they sued and they said that the value of the park was built into their own property values and they also said that per the terms of the original deed grammercy park could never be developed so it was essentially worthless in terms of real estate and judges agreed with that and said that the residents around the parkway already paying for the access to it and that decision is held for the past one hundred ten years okay so now you're reporting suggests that's no longer the case how's that so the gramercy park decision is kind of famous it became the foundation for homeowners associations across the country but we wanted to know exactly how the court determined that the homes that had keys to gramercy park or worth more than those that didn't so we had to find the original core decision issued in one thousand nine and not let us to a crumbling book at the new york state archives in albany we weren't allowed to scan the book so we have to take iphone pictures of hundreds of pages of testimony from real estate agents the judge's opinion and lots of exhibits which included values of the homes long grammercy park and nearby homes without park.

Coming up next