New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Upper East Side Patch

Upper East Side Patch East Side Public School Debuts New $600K Playground by Brendan Kristel

East Side Public School Debuts New $600K Playground

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — Students at a public school that serves the Upper East Side and East Harlem celebrated the opening of a brand-new playground at the school this week.

The new playground at PS 77 and PS 198M, located on Third Avenue and East 95th Street, features upgraded play equipment, new safety tiles and additional seating. Improvements were funded with $500,000 from the 2017 participatory budgeting cycle, with local City Councilmember Ben Kallos chipping in an additional $100,000 to finish the project.

"Children and adults alike are getting a lesson in democracy as they get to enjoy the playground for which they voted and campaigned," Kallos said at a ribbon cutting for the new playground. "Thank you to the parents and students age 11 and older who voted for this new playground and saw it built while they were still students at the school."

Upper East Side Patch Sutton Place Tower At Center Of Zoning Fight Begins Rise by Brendan Krisel

Sutton Place Tower At Center Of Zoning Fight Begins Rise

SUTTON PLACE, NY — The planned skyscraper that played a central role in the resident-led rezoning of the small Sutton Place neighborhood on the East River has begun its rise, according to new reports.

Upper East Side Patch UES High School To Get New $6.5M Gym Facility After Petition by Brenden Krisel

UES High School To Get New $6.5M Gym Facility After Petition

City Councilman Ben Kallos helped promote the students' petition and has been calling on the city to build more gym facilities on the Upper East Side since the 2017 launch of Mayor Bill de Blasio's "Universal Physical Education Initiative." 

"Eleanor Roosevelt High School students have not only won championships but now they've won a gym," Kallos said in a statement. "Every child must have a real gym for physical education and athletic competition. As New York City battles with childhood obesity, we need to give children every opportunity to burn off calories throughout the day."

Upper East Side Patch Developer Claims No Clear Plan For Replacing Demolished UES Block by Brendan Krisel

Developer Claims No Clear Plan For Replacing Demolished UES Block

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — Extell Development's Gary Barnett revealed few details Tuesday night during a Community Board meeting to discuss his firm's planned full-block developments on First Avenue between East 79th and 80th streets and East 85th and 86th streets.

Upper East Side Patch Development Brings 28 Below-Market Units, Preschool To UES by Brendan Krisel

Development Brings 28 Below-Market Units, Preschool To UES

City Councilman Ben Kallos praised the project as a win for the neighborhood because it proves that below-market housing can be built on the Upper East Side despite the expensive cost of real estate. Extell bought the site for $14 million in 2014, according to city Department of Finance records.

Extell Development is using 421A and Mandatory Inclusionary Hosing subsidies at the building, developers said.

Upper East Side Patch New Stretch Of East River Esplanade Opens After $15M Renovation by Brendan Krisel

New Stretch Of East River Esplanade Opens After $15M Renovation

In addition to financing the $15 million renovation, Rockefeller University is creating an endowment to maintain the esplanade section and contributed $150,000 to the conservancy group Friends of the East River Esplanade, Kallos said.

"When I got elected the waterfront was crumbling, which is why I set a goal of involving local institutions in public-private partnerships to rehabilitate the East River Esplanade," Kallos said.

Upper East Side Patch UES Councilman Proposes Pesticide Ban In City Parks by Brendan Krisel

UES Councilman Proposes Pesticide Ban In City Parks

"Parks should be for playing not pesticides," Kallos said in a statement. "All families should be able to enjoy our city parks without having to worry that they are being exposed to toxic pesticides that could give them and their families cancer."

Kallos added that he doesn't allow his newborn daughter to play on the grass in city parks out of fear that she may be sickened by pesticides.

The legislation would force city agencies to switch from synthetic pesticides to biological pesticides made from naturally occurring chemicals. These natural pesticides are generally accepted as less toxic and break down more rapidly, the bill's sponsors said. In addition to banning pesticides in city parks, the bill would also prohibit spraying pesticides within 75 feet of a body of wate

Upper East Side Patch Nonprofit Gallery Featuring Immigrant Artists Opens On UES by Brendal Krisel

Nonprofit Gallery Featuring Immigrant Artists Opens On UES

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — A nonprofit that turns under-utilized real estate into spaces where artists can create and present their artworks opened a new studio on Monday that will feature the work of immigrant artists for its debut exhibit, the nonprofit and local elected officials announced.

The organization Chashama renovated an empty space in the St. Tropez condo complex on East 64th Street near First Avenue into an art gallery following the building's donation of the space. City Councilman Ben Kallos, the nonprofit and artists celebrated the opening of the space Monday with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Upper East Side Patch Help UES Council Members Spend $1M On Neighborhood by Brandon Krisel

Help UES Council Members Spend $1M On Neighborhood

Voting opens on March 30 and end April 7 for New York City's eighth participatory budgeting cycle, city officials said. Residents of the Upper East Side will vote on whether to fund projects selected as finalists by City Council members Keith Powers or Ben Kallos, depending on whether they live within the council's fourth or fifth district.

Projects selected as finalists for participatory budgeting address community needs such as housing and school improvements, park upgrades, public safety and senior services. Most projects don't carry a funding value of $1 million, so multiple projects can win funding. If certain projects prove popular, city council members may chose to allocate even more funds.