Union Square Not for Sale

Parks are for People Not for Profit!
Union Square Not for Sale
Union Square Not for Sale logo
Union Square Not For Sale was launched in response to massive renovation of Union Square Park launched by Union Square Partnership, a local Business Improvement District (BID)/ Development Corp. The renovation included plans for a private, for-profit restaurant in the historic Northside Pavilion which was originally built as a parade stand and later used as a year round recreational shelter for women and children. The pavilion stands at the center of may of this country’s most important social movements, abolition, suffragette, civil rights and especially labor. The pavilion sits in the heart Union Square Park, an area that boasts the highest density of restaurants and lowest density of public space in the entire city. There are over 200 eating establishments within two blocks of the contested area.

The plans for the renovation of the north end of US project were put forth in 2004, amended in 2006, and began in early May 2008. In more that 4 years of public discourse about the plan, no community group or individual other than those directly connected to the BID supports the plan. In April 2008, the court issued a temporary injunction against further restaurant construction on the site until it can be determined if state approval is necessary. The USP brokered an anonymous 7.1 million dollar donation for a thorough park renovation with the condition that a for profit enterprise be included in the plans, neither the identity of the donor nor the future proprietor of the restaurant have been identified.

Things You Can Do

1. Contact Rosie Mendez by calling her at 212-677-1077, or emailing her at rosie.mendez@council.nyc.gov. Tell her to reject the BID plan for Union Square.
2. Sign the Online petition, which we will ceremoniously present to Rosie Mendez at a future date.
3. Boycott Whole Foods, Barnes and Noble, Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Café. Politely ask to speak to a manager at any of these places, and voice your displeasure with this land-grab. They will try and give you some BS. Ignore it.
4. Come to Union Square each Wednesday at 5:00pm to gather with like-minded people and find out more about what's going on.


Since assembling in April 2008, Union Square Not For Sale has maintained a weekly presence in the park and staged focused theatrical demonstrations to focus media attention and amass citizen support for public use of public parks. Actions to date include: