Now that the Independent Budget Office has forecast that the Midtown East rezoning plan won’t smother the neighborhood with office space, there’s little reason to oppose it, a Crain’s editorial asserted.
But that hasn’t stopped mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio and City Council member Daniel Gardonick, whose district covers Midtown East, from calling for additional concessions before throwing their support behind the proposal, the article noted.
According to the forecast, the additional 4.5 million square feet of office space would match rising demand.
Amendments to the plan have been implemented, and more bargaining is likely before City Council takes a final vote on the matter in November.
“But by now it should be obvious that its passage is essential to keep Midtown East a first-class business district,” the editorial said.
Among Garodnick’s remaining sticking points are infrastructure improvements, energy-efficiency mandates and special permit requirements to guarantee union staffing in hotels.
Bill de Blasio, the editorial noted, has said the rezoning should not proceed because it does not ensure improvements to accommodate the 16,000 workers it would add — a charge the editorial calls “preposterous.”
“Even without improvements, 16,000 workers added over decades would be unnoticeable,” the editorial asserts. “The Democrats are making this far too complicated. Midtown east needs development, not drama.” [Crain’s] — Julie Strickland