The Real Deal New York

REBNY strikes back against supertall criticism

Banks says Midtown skyscrapers signal "a city ascendant"

December 31, 2015 03:03PM

432 Park Avenue REBNY

432 Park Avenue in Midtown (inset: John Banks)

The Real Estate Board of New York is having none of the backlash toward Midtown’s new generation of supertall skyscrapers.

From CIM Group’s 432 Park Avenue to Gary Barnett’s One57, the neighborhood’s crop of “tall, slender and mostly residential towers positively contributes to our city architecturally, economically and environmentally,” REBNY president John Banks said this week.

Banks’ comments came after the Municipal Arts Society of New York released a report earlier this week calling for changes to the city’s building codes — with MAS executive vice president Mary Rowe criticizing developers for “only playing by the rules provided to them by the city government.”

Such codes “in some cases are more than 50 years old and woefully outmatched by the realities of city-building today,” Rowe added, with MAS calling for strictly guidelines on high-rise structures in Manhattan and a temporary moratorium on towers over 600 feet that haven’t gone through public review, according to Real Estate Weekly.

But Banks has shot back, describing the new additions to the Manhattan skyline as signaling “a city ascendant.”

“They symbolize an urban environment that is vibrant and exciting,” he said. “We are confident that over time, the latest generation of towers – like their predecessors – will become beloved members of our skyline.” [REW]Rey Mashayekhi