City Council approves Solow’s big project along East River

March 26, 2008 10:00PM

The City Council approved the rezoning needed for Sheldon Solow’s $4 billion development on the East River today, clearing the way for seven towers to rise on nine acres of First Avenue from East 35th Street to East 41st Street. The project will create about 3,000 apartments, 1 million square feet of commercial space and 69,000 square feet of retail. Earlier this month, Solow won the approval of the council’s Land Use Committee after he agreed to lower the height of the proposed residential tower on the west side of First Avenue, between 39th and 40th Streets, from 69 stories to 44, and trimmed three other towers. At 595 feet, the tallest tower will be 90 feet higher than the United Nations building. The development includes affordable housing, a public school and five acres of public space.

Solow also pledged $10 million for a public pedestrian bridge over the Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive, which would connect the old Con-Ed site to a proposed waterfront park. “This is a truly sensible development, and one that respects open space and will add value to our neighborhood,” Councilman Daniel Garodnick said in a statement. Garodnick was one of several politicians who had demanded changes from Solow. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to put a major mark on the Manhattan skyline and connect New Yorkers with the East River,” Solow said in a statement. TRD