Midtown East Rezoning, Revised

Monday, August 05, 2013

In response to criticism of his plans for a revamped Midtown East business district, Mayor Bloomberg has added more housing and public space to the proposal for taller office buildings.  Laura KusistoWall Street Journal reporter covering economic development in New York, including housing, jobs, hospitals and city planning, talks about the prospects of the plan.



Laura Kusisto

Comments [12]

Tish from NYC

What many fail to appreciate is that very tall buildings are already being built in this area without any zoning change. Witness the sliver-like tower now being built on the site of the old Drake Hotel, which will be the tallest residential building in all of NYC due to its shrewd use of current zoning. Plus Grand Central's privately-owned air rights, still available for sale, are just waiting for someone to buy them to build huge towers, also with no zoning change necessary.

This is why this plan is necessary, so to put reason and better control into the process. It will also allow some of our most precious landmarks, like St. Pat's and St. Bart's, to get better value for their air rights; the City will now fund desperately needed transit improvements sooner than later with developers paying it back as buildings go up; mixed-use (not permitted now) is being encouraged; and the plan's sunset provision means nothing can be built for nearly 5 years, by which time Hudson Yards will be well underway and not at risk from a competing neighborhood.

If this zoning isn't updated, east midtown will be denied the chance to participate in Manhattan's growth, turning it into an over-crowded, shabby neighborhood (which it's on the verge of being now). Plus we'll lose a unique chance to upgrade the area's transit and sidewalk infrastructure. The Community Boards' unimaginative and obstructing position of "just say no" is worse than NIMBY; it's a death wish for east midtown.

Aug. 05 2013 12:50 PM

& Midtown East extending to 67th ST???

Anything below his townhouse & above another RE bonanza district is automatically Midtown???

Aug. 05 2013 12:09 PM

More canyons in Manhattan. Bloomberg's coals to Newcastle solution.

Where are the nearby hospitals, firehouses, police stations, public transportation improvements, additional park space that will provide a safe, comfortable & inviting environment???

Midtown East aka Turtle Bay/Murray Hill is close to both bedpan allies, but other parts of the City are not.

Hardly an ideal solution for a mayor who prides himself on being pro-health.

Aug. 05 2013 12:05 PM
Wei-Yu from Manhattan

Everyone complains about affordability in Manhattan and the moment any development pops up, the pitch forks come out. Come on people, wake up. Here is a formula to remember, low vacancy rates = high prices. Everyone else in the world ge4ts it.

Aug. 05 2013 11:29 AM
Geroge from Manhattan

Yes, because midtown east is not already full of huge buildings and canyons? LOL. They are not talking about Wichita east. Put them up, if they add sq footage and it brings rents for offices and apartments down due to more inventory - great.

Aug. 05 2013 11:25 AM
ann from Manhattan

Bloomberg is all about big time development ad his legacy.. No respect for landmarked buildings or districts and, most important, no real protection even with that standing. For example, look at the enormous project that NYU wants to undertake in the West Village just below Washington Square. Community Board 100% against:Bloomberg's crew 100% for. This is a hideous project that will change the Manhattan skyline and neighborhoods forever.

Aug. 05 2013 11:21 AM
Ellen from Brooklyn

I think it would be a mistake to create more corridors of canyons in an area that is currently a livable - and walkable - mixed use area.

Concentrations of tall-building canyons deter street use and street life.

In addition, with the addition of millions of square feet of office space in the new world trade center and Hudson Yards, how much additional office space would be in demand?

Is it possible that they would build it and no one would come? Would small, innovative start ups (which Bloomberg has also encouraged, and touted) be priced out?

It doesn't sound workable, or practical, with so much to be done in the outer boroughs. Why not encourage development there?

Aug. 05 2013 11:20 AM
Kate from Manhattan

Landmarks aside, if you cant build skyscrapers in midtown, where the hell can you?! The opposition is kind of ridiculous.

Aug. 05 2013 11:20 AM
Amy from Manhattan

What was the point of the Bloomberg clip? All he talked about was not letting opponents delay the plan. Don't you have a clip about the *reasons* for the plan, which is what Anna said it would be about?

Aug. 05 2013 11:18 AM
sp from nyc

A third term bought and paid for was not enough for Napoleon Bonaparte Bloomberg; now he wants to project his "vision" (read giveaway to real estate interests) into the infinite future.

Aug. 05 2013 11:14 AM
Mia from Manhattan

Just a correction to what the reporter stated.... PEOPLE do not like to work in open plan offices, it's the company owners who like it, because it saves them spending more on square footage. 99% of people who have to work in open plan offices hate the situation. Just read the comments after any article in the NY Times or anywhere else from the actual people who have to endure 40 hours or more a week in that environment.

And the idea of more high rises on the east side? Horrible! Why doesn't Bloomberg come up with incentives for employers who have more people telecommute and only have to come to office 2 or 3 days a week for face to face meetings? It would make daily commuting into & out of the city more pleasant for everyone concerned and all those poor people piled up on top of each other in open plan offices could be more productive at home where they can actually hear themselves think.

Aug. 05 2013 11:14 AM
antonio from baySide

Any transportation considerations?

It would be great if they made a loop for a streetcar, perhaps some pedestrian only streets?

Aug. 05 2013 11:02 AM

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