NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A New York City company is hoping to turn a little plot of green space into lots of green dollar bills.

The Participation Agency is marketing a patch of grass, located at 145 Ludlow St., on the Lower East Side, as a “backyard time share.”

Jacqui Kavanagh and Jessica Resler came up with the idea to create a refuge for New Yorkers. The catch is anything you use, you have to rent from the Participation Agency — a creative organization run by the two entrepreneurs.

“It does sound a little crazy but it’s New York. So if you’re gonna be able to do it anywhere, it’s gonna be right here,” Kavanagh told CBS 2’s Katie Fehlinger.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks Speaks With New Yorkers About The Idea

Everything’s rentable from the grill to the cooler, to even the hula hoop. Jacqui and Jessica said the sky’s the limit.

You can customize the 3,200-square foot backyard with items that range in price from $5 — like beach balls — all the way up to $5,000, which gets you a local band that will perform an acoustic set, Resler said. The green space will be available for a price of $50 per hour. Want to host a barbecue? It will set you back $150 to rent the grill. And perhaps a kiddie pool to keep the children busy? That will cost $200 to rent.

The State Liquor Authority says the operators would also need to get a liquor license if renters brought alcohol to the site.

Stan Brooks of 1010 WINS spoke with one New Yorker, who predicted the idea would be a success.

“It’s amazing. I think it’s a great thing for the neighborhood. It’s a little bit of money, but people will pay for it. They’ll definitely pay for it,” one man said. “I think it’ll work.”

“I don’t necessarily want to hike up all the way to Central Park, but I live right there, so, yeah, this is my new spot,” Jay Nayssan told CBS 2’s Fehlinger.

Others, however, found the thought of it to be crazy and outlandish.

“Is that really what the Lower East Side is coming to? How about you just go and spend the day on the grass in Central Park for free or down in Battery Park?” asked another man.

“A $150 to have a barbecue in the Lower East Side? That’s ridiculous,” he said.

“There’s a guy that’s saying he’s gonna throw garbage at people who are going to be there, so that might not be such a good thing. But I’m fine with it. I mean if it brings more business to the area I think it’s good,” resident Lisa Carroll said.

Kavanagh and Resler said they plan to impose an early evening curfew on the property in an effort to keep the neighbors happy.

The space is set to open next Thursday.

SOUND-OFF: Will the idea work or is it crazy?  Share your thoughts in the comments section…

Comments (16)
  1. Molly Zin says:

    It’s a great idea. Good for these people who have the initiative to take what they have and turn it into a business. People who want the fun and novelty of playing “backyard” in the middle of the city will use it and those who don’t, don’t have to. Sure it’s a little goofy and silly, but occasionally being goofy and silly makes life more enjoyable, so go for it.

  2. NYElitist says:

    What’s amazing about this is that no real New Yorker would ever launch such an idiotic business and no real New Yorker would ever pay to be bilked by such idiots. The problem here is the infiltration of all these midwestern and suburban kids flocking to NY because it’s “cool.” Just a short while ago the LES used to be a place that these pampered little mall-culture milksops would never set foot in because they’d get their little pink behinds kicked. Now that it’s a booze-soaked disney land for 20-somethings with too much time on their hands and too much money (what’s a 20 martini when mom and dad pay your credit card for you!), this sort of stupidity is not at all surprising, infuriating yes, but surprising no. Go back home! New York doesn’t want your kind here, you are ruining this city.

  3. EricG says:

    Only yuppies would think of this

  4. KC says:

    So this is what Bloomberg meant…..NYC The Luxury Product.
    $200 for four hrs
    $150 for the bbq
    $100 for food (@ whole foods of course)
    $20 for a taxi to the “venue”
    Grand total of almost $500 for an afternoon bbq.
    Ya know what’s free – standing across the street so you can see what ACTUAL MORONS look like in their natural habitat

  5. arty says:

    Poorly written article.

  6. JustSaying says:

    You poor slobs in NY! I stand on my deck and see acres of lawn, a field with cows in it, my neighbor out working with one of his horses. I look out the front window and see 200+ acres of forest. And WHY would I EVER want to give this up and move to NY where I could get on a waiting list to rent a tiny little piece of grass for 50.00 an hour? Why would anyone for that matter???

    1. KPMc says:

      Why would you come to a New York news website if you live under such idyllic conditions is a better question. Must be missing something if you turn aawy from paradise to read and comment on CBS local NY…. Just Saying!

      1. JustSaying says:

        KPMc it’s because I have friends living in NY and I try to keep up on the news so when I’m talking with them I’m as current on THEIR issues as possible. This story was just so over-the-top, even for NY that I couldn’t not comment on it! And yes, it is idyllic here and if I ever get the inclination to visit the city there’s always a bus tour. The best thing about the tour is that I get to LEAVE when it’s over!

  7. SAD WORLD says:

    There behind a glass is a real blade of grass, be careful as you pass. Move along! Move along!

    1. danny says:

      Nice ELP reference!

  8. KC says:

    How sad and ridiculous, really the American Indians had it right, this idea is pathetic.

  9. Matt says:

    See New York does suck and only a idiot would pay that or a new yorker same thing

    1. KPMc says:

      And yet… here you are on CBS Local NY… reading and making comments. Something must draw you here.

      1. Michael H. says:

        It certainly isn’t the lively debate.

  10. gjk says:

    Wow, sounds like you’re making a human zoo, only you’re making them pay for the privilege of being watched. You don’t mind if i make it a stop on my tour bs route . . . i think it’s a real hoot!

  11. Angel Investor says:

    I just purchased an electric lawn mower from Home Depot but failed to realize I live in the lower east side with no yard to mow. Perhaps I can call this company and for a hundred bucks I can rent the yard for 2 hours so I can mow their lawn. Great business idea guys! I’m in.

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