From Capital New York:
Councilman Dan Garodnick and Council speaker Christine Quinn will not vote in favor of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to allow taller buildings around Grand Central Terminal.
That means that the controversial proposal to rezone some 73 blocks in Midtown East is now, effectively, dead.
“Creating new jobs in East Midtown—and across all of New York City—is essential," said the councilmembers in a joint statement just emailed to reporters. "We can and should do more with the commercial corridor around Grand Central. ... However, a good idea alone is not enough to justify action today. We should rezone East Midtown, but only when we can do so properly. After extensive negotiations, we have been unable to reach agreement on a number of issues in the proposed plan."
The real estate industry and Bloomberg administration have argued that the office space in Midtown East is outdated and increasingly unappealing to modern tenants. In order for New York City to retain its status as a world-class city in an increasingly global economy, the city must allow for more modern office skyscrapers around Grand Central, the argument goes.
Most of the proposed rezoning falls within Garodnick's district, and since the Council typically refers to the local member in land use decisions, his support, or lack thereof, is considered decisive.
In a statement, mayor-elect Bill de Blasio applauded the councilmembers, "for pressing the pause button in order to ensure these concerns are adequately addressed. We must continue this process in earnest upon taking office, and I commit to presenting a revised rezoning plan for the area by the end of 2014."