Strolling through the 28th Street entrance onto the path in Bellevue Park South, one of our neighbors got the feeling someone was watching him. Standing in the middle of the playground our neighbor looked up. And there it was, staring at him from the branches above his head - a hawk!
The Kips Bay Neighborhood Association is urging all area residents to take action to prevent the destruction of the retail strip along Second Avenue between 30th and 32nd Streets. Developers are making moves to tear down Fairway, Rite Aid and AMC Kips Bay Theaters and replace them with medical offices. If this happens, it will leave the residents of Kips Bay with no large scale grocery store and no movie theater. The full petition is below, but you must view the petition on Change.org in order to sign it.
THE UNDERSIGNED MEMBERS OF THE KIPS BAY AND MURRAY HILL COMMUNITIES HEREBY EXPRESS THEIR PROFOUND OPPOSITION TO THE ELIMINATION OF THE RETAIL OUTLETS ON THE EAST SIDE OF SECOND AVENUE BETWEEN 30TH AND 33RD STREETS.
The retail space (currently with businesses including Fairway Market and AMC Movie Theatres) is intended to be demolished and replaced by YET ANOTHER REDUNDANT new medical building restricted entirely and exclusively for medical use. Rather than several neighborhood retail stores, there will be one tenant. All businesses currently operating at this location will be forced to close due to the encroachment of sprawling and underused one-tenant medical buildings. As a social and consumer anchor for our neighborhood, our retail mall is vital for the health and quality of life for Kips Bay residents.
Kips Bay is a vibrant, diverse community home to more than 68,000 New Yorkers, including families with young children, seniors, young professionals, United Nations staff, and healthcare workers (doctors, nurses, personnel) and students (medical, dental, nursing, postdoc).
Our neighborhood offers convenient, wheelchair-, walker-, stroller-accessible services; a committed community spirit; and an accessible quality of life with good schools, supermarkets, shops, restaurants, and entertainment for New Yorkers of all ages.
The Second Avenue retail space is critical for accessible shopping and services, and anchors our neighborhood.
This new medical building destroys our access to:
● Fresh Produce and Groceries. Fairway Market is Kips Bay’s only large-scale, wheelchair-accessible supplier of fresh produce and groceries, such as organic and gluten-free items, kosher products, and international foods, in addition to on-site butcher, fishmonger, baker, and cheesemonger services. Loss of this supermarket will have a particularly adverse impact on our most vulnerable members, such as the elderly and neighbors in wheelchairs, who cannot rely on online grocery shopping or cannot easily reach or access alternative stores.
● Movie Theater. The popular, newly renovated AMC Movie Theatre provides the only locale for cinematic entertainment within a 30-minute walk.
● Other Retail Outlets. These include a large 24-hour pharmacy (Rite Aid), a paint supply store (Sherwin Williams), and banks (Bank of America, TD Bank). The pharmacy operates outside of normal business hours — critical to those working hospital night shifts, the paint supply store is unique to the neighborhood, and the banks provide convenience for local residents.
According to a report “New York City’s Neighborhood Grocery Store and Supermarket Shortage,” from the NYC Department of City Planning, NYC Health, and NYC Economic Development Corporation, “supermarkets attract complementary stores and services … residents benefit from lower prices, less travel time, and greater merchandise selection … and increased foot traffic creates walkable neighborhoods and reduces crime.”
This new one-tenant medical building will take away our supermarket and movie theatre, force residents to spend and travel more for access to groceries and entertainment, and increase daytime congestion. Our pedestrian spaces will be turned into parking lots for idling ambulances and the like. The decrease the neighborhood’s foot traffic and elimination of community “eyes on the street” (especially during evenings, weekends, and holidays) — will adversely affect the safety and success of our neighbors and neighborhood businesses.
Our community residents have worked hard to increase pedestrian and green spaces at this location. All this is to be destroyed. A pattern of increased commercial traffic, and noise and air pollution — from hundreds of employees, patients, and idling cars and service vans – is already visible at the nearby “Medical City.” The adjacent medical center recently opened two high-rise medical buildings on First Avenue with plans to open other medical buildings nearby.
We want to preserve our real community and residential neighborhood . Due to the substantial and negative impact of this proposed one-tenant medical building to our community, we ask that you add your signature to the petition below.
The Kips Bay Neighborhood Association has been working with local grass roots groups, 344 E. 28th St. Residents Association, our Councilwoman, Rosie Mendez, NYC Parks and Recreation to plan, strategize and raise funds for the dog run. Our determination to reach out to all leaders of all demographics in Kips Bay, which include its underserved Public Housing and 504 Community, and many residents who have service dogs, has paid off with a strong collaboration on this initiative. We anticipate this will also lead to other projects which will have substantial impact across many simultaneous fronts.
The participating groups (so far) are:
Councilwoman Rosie Mendez
NYC Parks and Recreation
Kips Bay Neighborhood Association
344 E. 28th St. Residents Assn
Members of KB particularly those many residents with disabilities and the owners of service dogs of all kinds
Friends of Albano Park
PS 116 – select PTA members, kids and their dogs
We will be reaching out nearby community members, the Phipps Houses and Straus Houses.
In addition, we have had strong feedback and indications of support from Service Dog Training Programs, one Holistic Pet Food company, and many not for profit organizations whose mission is to support those with disabilities.
Our project, the KIPS BAY PROMENADE, began in 2014 with the stewardship of the 14 historic trees along the Second Avenue median, the two historic London Planes at the 30th Street corner and the two trees at the 33rd and Second Avenue corner. Each volunteer of the ONE TREE/ONE STEWARD team “owns” and cares for a tree, but the team works together to re-claim the Kips Bay Median and transform it into a fully planted park space with “green infrastructure” as bioswales.
The Kips Bay Neighborhood Association has been an integral partner with the Friends of Albano non-profit. We pushed to raise money from former Council Member, Rosie Mendez, who ultimately earmarked $800,000. for the renovation of the playground and park area. The Association worked with Friends and NYC Parks staff during scoping meetings and design approval in