Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended his decision to fast-track rezoning in Midtown East at the groundbreaking ceremony for Brookfield Office Properties’ Manhattan West megaproject yesterday, the New York Observer reported. The mayor dismissed concerns that the rezoning would see a flight of corporate tenants to Midtown East at the expense of the new towers at Manhattan West.
The city invested $2 billion to create the 7 train near the construction project, which is to be paid back in property taxes. But if development halts, the city would stand to lose a tidy sum.
Also, Hudson Yards would provide additional competition, as the developers have begun a major push to woo prospective corporate tenants.
“There’s lots of development going on all over the city, not only on the West Side but downtown, at the World Trade Center, in Brooklyn and Long Island City,” the mayor said. “People are surprised by how much interest there is.”
Still, he pointed to the so-called sunrise delay, which would push back rezoning until 2017 so that new projects have a chance to get off the ground.
John Zuccotti, the former chairman of Brookfield, was also nonchalant about the rezoning, which he said would “come in its time, but it won’t be as transformative as this because they’re building where there are already office buildings.” [NYO] – Hiten Samtani