This section is from the book "Practical Real Estate Methods For Broker, Operator & Owner", by Thirty Experts. Also available from Amazon: Practical Real Estate Methods for Broker, Operator, Owner.
The present policy of the Board of Estimate in the matter of acquiring title to property for public parks, and public places which increase the street area, is for the City to bear half the cost and the other half is assessed upon the property benefited. This has had a depressing effect upon that part of the public who believe that every man should have a public park in front of his house. But now, when it comes to paying for the improvement, the owners whose properties are assessed with half the cost of the improvement usually object vigorously. Heretofore, the entire cost was borne by the City of New York and public parks were always in demand, but under the new policy of the Local Board, the entire situation has changed.
An amendment to the present system of acquiring property has been suggested by some able minds. They suggest that the City not only take the property which is actually required for the improvement, but also all the property that is deemed to be benefited thereby. For instance, if a very large plaza or public place is required by the City, the value of the surrounding property may be tremendously increased. The plan is to acquire this property also and let the City sell it at public sale, and reap the benefits of its improvements. Those opposed to the plan claim that the City is reimbursed through increased taxation. Nothing has ever been done on this line. It is simply a suggestion, but some day something of this kind will be adopted.