Developers, unions band together for greater Midtown East development

February 01, 2013 03:00PM

A group of developers has formed an unlikely alliance with labor and construction unions in an effort to expand the Bloomberg Administration’s proposed rules for allowing taller structures in Midtown East, the New York Times reported. More specifically, they want more skyscraper properties developed on a greater number of sites at a faster pace and with lower cost. Members of the group include Real Estate Board of New York officials, the New York Building Congress, the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, Local 32BJ Service Employees International Union and the Building and Construction Trades Council of New York.

Developer Rob Speyer is credited with devising this new strategy, reportedly stemming from the fear that City Council would rush the existing Midtown East rezoning proposal.

“Business and labor have a lot of common interests,” Speyer told the Times. “We want to focus on our common ground. We’re sending a strong message to elected officials that labor and business are united on a given issue.”

At the same time, elected officials, the Municipal Arts Society and local preservationists have pressed the city to analyze the impact of building up an area that they claim is already congested. [NYT]Zachary Kussin