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Carter's View

New ball fields for baseball, soccer and volleyball between Riverside Boulevard and the West Side Highway from 64th to 66th Streets that were built by Extell Development for public use are behind a locked gate and only the residents of Extell's buildings at Riverside South can use them, according to an article by Leslie Albrecht at

The article said that "The ball fields are supposed to belong to Riverside Park South, the 27-acre public park that developer Extell Development Co. is responsible for building in exchange for the rights to build the high-rises."

Several local residents told DNAinfo that "an eight-foot chain link fence now surrounds the fields and a guard patrols the area to keep people out unless they're residents of Riverside South," the article said, adding that "Parks Department official John Herrold, who oversees all of Riverside Park, said the ball fields are Extell's private property, and they'll eventually be handed over to the city to become part of the public park.".

He told a recent meeting of Community Board 7, however, the article added, that "for now, Extell is free to keep them locked up."

"Activist Batya Lewton of the Coalition for a Livable West Side says the fenced off fields are evidence of a broken promise by Extell. Creating the public park space was a key condition that developers agreed to meet when they won approval from the city to build Riverside South, Lewton said. The original developer on the project in 1992 was Donald Trump; it changed hands to Extell in 2005. 'When you realize that the developer made an awful lot of money on this development, and that they were supposed to build this world-class park and here you have these fields that can't be used by the public, that's outrageous,' Lewton said," according to the article.

Ralph Corsiglia, a local baseball coach, the article continued, "said he was eagerly looking forward to using the fields once they were completed this fall" and said "he called Riverside South and was told he could pay to rent the field for $20 an hour, with a two-hour minimum, but only if he or someone with him was a resident of Riverside South."
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Architecture Critic Carter Horsley Since 1997, Carter B. Horsley has been the editorial director of CityRealty. He began his journalistic career at The New York Times in 1961 where he spent 26 years as a reporter specializing in real estate & architectural news. In 1987, he became the architecture critic and real estate editor of The New York Post.