Midtown Residents Protest Skyscrapers Going Up Along 'Billionaires' Row'
Longtime Midtown residents are getting fed with all the skyscrapers going up along what is being called Billionaires' Row. They marched along 57th Street Sunday to protest the shadows they claim are being cast on Central Park. NY1's Michael Scotto filed the following report.
It was a perfectly sunny day, but dozens of people showed up in Columbus Circle with black umbrellas to symbolize the shadows that are being cast over Central Park by the massive skyscrapers that are going up all along 57th Street, now being called Billionaires' Row by some.
The crowd reserved special scorn for One57, a 90-story skyscraper on the north side of 57th Street, and the 96-story luxury apartment building at 432 Park Avenue. Other buildings are in the works, including one that will be just as tall. And residents and some politicians fear that when it's all said and done, the city and Central Park will be forever changed.
"This park is enjoyed by 40 million people every year. It's the crown jewel of New York. There are shadows cast to 72nd Street and beyond and that will only continue," said Val Brown of stand Against the Shadows.
"Central Park is everybody's park, and billionaires shouldn't be able to buy the sky and cast the rest of the city in shadows," said City Councilman Ben Kallos of Manhattan.
Protesters argue that overdevelopment is a problem across the city. They say buildings are going up in neighborhoods where they simply don't belong.
Residents are calling for a moratorium on buildings taller than 600 feet and want the de Blasio administration to do more to stop developers from getting their way.
"Unfortunately, the administration has been extremely slow, to say the least, in taking any steps in mitigating the impact of these buildings." siad Layla Law Gisiko of Community Board 5.
The City Council is looking at legislation to establish a task force on shadows. As for the de Blasio administration, a spokesman says it believes in "smart planning," adding, "We will continue to work with all communities to keep our city livable and affordable, and protect what makes our neighborhoods unique."