Would You Rather?

We asked New Yorkers if they'd turn down a big developer payday for peace and quiet

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A couple of weeks ago we ran a story here on Brick about a Brooklyn co-op that turned down a $150,000-plus payday in order to avoid new construction adjacent to their building that would change the feel of the neighborhood and bring on their noise, too.

So, we asked other New Yorkers what they would do if they were faced with the same situation. Would they prefer the payout or would they rather avoid construction in their back yard?

This was a tough one: It seems many of our fellow New Yorkers are glad they aren't in the situation of having to choose the lesser of two evils. And, of course, many would try a third option that could mean having it all: cash, quiet and views.

  • Best of both worlds I would take the money, sell, and leave immediately. Where we are now is not my ideal neighborhood anyway.  Having construction and blocked views is not appealing to me in the least, but this is a noisy part of the neighborhood anyway and I don’t like it. The money would be very welcome to enable a move elsewhere entirely and I wouldn’t have to live with noise and no views.  —John, Washington Heights (shown at left)
  • There goes the neighborhood, anyway I understand about the whole “keeping the neighborhood as is” thing. I really do. But where I live, it’s not really applicable. There’s already tall buildings, and commercial stores. $200K would be a great down payment, but besides that, I’d be up for trying a new place and maybe even neighborhood anyway. So, I’d sell, maybe that affects the sale value of my place, but I’d be compensated with the payout! —Charley, Upper West Side

  • Dust as a dealbreaker I own my apartment and I think I wouldn’t mind staying and taking the money offer. But the noise and dust for years and then blocked view in the end is something else. I know for sure my husband couldn’t put up with it and it. $200K is a lot of money, though. So maybe we would take it and leave? You can always sell an apartment in the city to somebody who won’t mind the new building site.  —Eunhee, Hamilton Heights (shown at left)
  • Debts and dreams That’s tough. I get how important it is to preserve neighborhood feelings in the city. I’d want the backbone to say no to a developer, let’s put it that way. But I have debts and dreams, you know what I mean? —Eric, Upper West Side
  • Selfless citizen of the city  First question would be:  It depends on the apartment and what I’d lose, but generally, I’d take the money and stay put. It’s New York City not New York Town. Bottom line is: Make space for others. We need more housing, more business. Don’t be selfish and make a community garden out of what could help people find a home in the city. —Mark, Hamilton Heights

Verdict: Cash talks and New Yorkers walk (away from construction).


Brooklyn co-op owners turn down $130 million payday. Would you do the same?


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