Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s push to modernize Midtown East office buildings has become a legacy issue as the mayor’s reign winds to a close, according to the New York Daily News. Bloomberg wants to rezone the area bounded by Third and Fifth avenues and East 39th and East 59th streets to allow developers to knock down aging, undersized buildings and replace them with taller, modern towers.
“This would be a linchpin of his legacy,” a leading business official who was briefed on the plan, which has not yet been formally proposed, told the Daily News.
Existing zoning regulations, which were put in place in 1961, don’t put a specific maximum height on the area’s office towers, but few top out beyond 50 stories. Bloomberg wants building heights in Midtown East to rival the Chrysler Building. He also wants to reduce the age of the area’s buildings from its current average of 68 years.
In addition to reshaping the city’s skyline, Bloomberg said the rezoning would help the city land new companies and new jobs. [NYDN]