City-financed agencies, seeking a way to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in a weak economy, are looking at the land right under some of their own institutions and offering them up to the highest bidder, who will build new, modern libraries and schools on the first floors or basements of new developments. The Brooklyn Public Library is looking to sell off two of its branches near downtown Brooklyn to developers, the New York Daily News reports, and what do you know—both of them are right next to Forest City Ratner-owned properties. Scools are also in danger. According to The New York Times, the city’s Educational Construction Fund is reviewing proposals for construction of high-rise apartment towers on the sites of two public schools near Lincoln Center — P.S. 191 on West 61st Street and P.S. 199 on West 70th Street. In each case, new schools would occupy the lower floors of the new buildings.
More “luxury” condos? No thank you. And where will community members go to seek resources and even attend school while these monster projects are under way? Please sign this petition, addressed to Stephen Levin, City Council Member, Mayor Michael R Bloomberg, and 6 others which says “We demand that Mayor Bloomberg stop defunding New York libraries at a time of increasing public use, population growth and increased city wealth. Shrinking our library system to create real estate deals for the wealthy at a time of cutbacks in education and escalating disparities in opportunity is not only unjust, it is a shortsighted plan that will ultimately hurt New York City’s economy and competitiveness.”