Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Midtown East rezone a no-go

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The real estate industry and Bloomberg administration have argued that the office space in Midtown East is outdated and increasingly unappealing to modern tenants.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."


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

So DeBlasio will maintain the two cities of Bloomberg - that of the rich and connected and the rest of us.

Can you imagine someone trying to do this in Queens?

Anonymous said...

The thing I rarely see anyone ever examine is how much truth there really is to the claim that there is a need for more office space in Manhattan.

The reality is complicated.

I've worked for a number of large companies in Manhattan and every single one (even during boom times) had several floors that were vacant. In each instance, just the one company had control over the entire building.

So then the question becomes do we want to put dozens of architecturally significant buildings at risk - buildings that really evoke "New York" and are skyscrapers in their own right (albeit smaller ones) - just so that a big wealthy corporation can build a half-empty edifice with their name on it?

That's who this rezoning would be servicing if put into.

Come on, this is really all about egos - not keeping Midtown competitive.

Anonymous said...

Oh please! Give me a freakin break! The last thing midtown needs is more businesses! When dickberg says more businesses that's the equivalent to him saying "my billionaire friends want more space and my developer friends need more money"!

Anonymous said...

Fix the transportation system in NYC first before even thinking of building more office space.

Anonymous said...

Yea, why does everyone in Queens buy the argument of 'planned development.'

Planned for who? Not the public.

My friends, its no victory if an area zoned for 6 is downzoned to a 4, and a 2 story house is torn down for a multi-unit 4 story that has a zoning variance to make it 5.

No victory at all.

Now if someone from midtown can come out here to tell us how they did it? naw.....

Anonymous said...

Look at Hissy Queen! Looks ten years younger. What gives?

Anonymous said...

Wow I am impressed!!!!

New there's a councilman who put his district first, REBNY last.

Let's see what Paul Vallone does.