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A Red Card for Solow’s Plans?

Soccer moms dream of fields.

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Little League parents are crying foul over developer Sheldon Solow’s $4 billion plan to build Manhattan’s largest residential development—4,000 apartments in six residential towers—on the former Con Ed site just south of the United Nations. The project will add about five acres of open space, but none of it will include baseball diamonds or soccer fields. “We’re already at maximum capacity on the fields we have,” says Kate Crotty, a Stuyvesant Town mom with two soccer-playing daughters. She’s a founder of Ballfields for Kids, which claims at least 750 families as members and wants fields added to Solow’s plans. Otherwise, Crotty says, area sports leagues will be forced to hold tryouts—meaning some children won’t be able to play—or alter their borders to exclude Solow’s development. Two City Council Land Use subcommittees are holding a hearing on the project on February 25, and Ballfields for Kids reps will be there. “There are a lot of people who are very upset about this,” Crotty says. A spokesman for Solow said the developer was sympathetic but can’t change things: “Unfortunately, they’ve come to us very late in the process.”

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