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Friday, October 14, 2011

Zuccotti Park Owners Threatened By Elected Officials Into Postponing Cleanup Of Occupied Park

By Susan Duclos

Brookfield Contact Information:

Brookfield Office Properties
Brookfield Global Real Estate
Three World Financial Center
New York, NY. 10281-1021
Phone: 212-417-7063

Notices were sent to the Wall Street Occupiers informing them that they needed to evacuate Zuccotti Park so that cleanup, inspections and maintenance could be done on the park after a letter was sent to the NYPD requesting assistance from Brookefield Office Properties.

The Occupiers refused to leave and after receiving "threatening" phones from elected officials, Brookefield postponed the Park cleanup.

The letter sent from Brookefield Office Properties states on page #2:

For all these reasons, we cannot currently ensure that the Park is safe nor can we perform the necessary cleaning, inspection, damage assessment and repairs. In light of this and the ongoing trespassing of the protesters, we are again requesting the assistance of the New York City Police Department to help clear the park so that we can undertake this work at the earliest possible time. We will defer to the Department's judgment on how to best accomplish this, but the Department's intervention is necessary both to ensure our ability to comply with our obligations as owners and to make the Park safe for the neighborhood and public.

Once we have completed our cleanup and maintenance, we would ask that the Department assist Brookefield on an ongoing basis to ensure the safety of all those using and enjoying the Park.

As you know, we have discussed this situation with you and/or others under your command on a daily basis seeking assistance. The situation continues to worsen and we need your assistance to ensure public safety.

This morning that the cleanup was postponed with Mayor Bloomberg insisting that the"decision to postpone the clean up was made by Brookfield."

He said that the company made its decision after receiving a flurry of threatening phone calls from elected officials, though he said he did not know who those officials were or what they had specifically told Brookfield.

According to The Politico those threatening calls from elected officials are quoted by Bloomberg:

Mayor Bloomberg made his weekly radio show appearance Friday morning, saying Brookfield Properties informed him the company “got lots of calls from many elected officials threatening them and saying, ‘If you don’t stop this [the planned cleanup], we’ll make your life more difficult’.”

Bloomberg continues:

“Brookfield said they want to take a couple of days to try and negotiate something,” he said. “If you get through a couple of days, the question is what would be possible, and is it more complex to do two days from now what they wanted to do today?”

Bloomberg said he is not sure what kind of agreement the company hopes to work out, but said “if they cannot, then they would want to go ahead and do exactly what they wanted to do this morning.”

Since Zuccotti Park is private, Bloomberg noted the city has no right to go in and shut down the site. He did, however, say that the city “will provide police protection” for whatever Brookfield Properties decides to do.

After the Park cleanup, inspection and maintenance was postponed, the Occupiers decided to take to the streets, resulting in more violence and arrests.