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Saturday, March 23, 2013

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The news we broke about the city’s effort to find developers willing to redevelop the sites of two Upper West Side public schools has shocked local parents. PS 191 on 61st street and PS 199 on 70th street could be demolished and redeveloped as high-rises with new schools inside them. Now the PTA at PS 199 is trying to quell parent anxiety.
“First and most importantly, no decisions have been made regarding anything and the demolition of PS199 is not imminent!” the PTA letter says (full letter reprinted below).
Since soliciting ideas from the real estate community months ago to develop high-rise apartment buildings with new schools on the sites of three current schools (two on UWS, one on UES), the city’s Educational Construction Fund (ECF) has received dozens of proposals from developers. The initial brochure sent to developers said that they could build on the sites with virtually no public review: the traditional development review process known as ULURP would be suspended because the sites of the current schools are owned by the city and the zoning in the area allows for large buildings. But since the plans leaked, city officials have said that they will involve parents throughout the process, and any development will have to go through ULURP (this may come as a surprise to developers who read in the city’s “request for expressions of interest” that they would not have to go through this process).

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