Since being seen as a candidate to succeed Christine Quinn as City Council speaker, City Council member Dan Garodnick has become the target of a coalition of building trades and developers bent on seeing Mayor Bloomberg’s goal of rezoning Midtown East realized.
On Friday, Richard Anderson, president of the New York Building Congress, and Howard Rothschild, president of the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations, wrote to Garodnick, urging him to support plans to rezone a 73-block area of Midtown East. In the letter, the real estate interests argued that the new zoning rules would bolster the construction and building services industries, potentially creating tens of thousands of new jobs, according to Crain’s.
“These good-paying, middle-class jobs will only be created with the approval of the New York City Council, and one council member in particular — you,” the letter to Garodnick stated.
Using Bloomberg administration estimates, the building interests are forecasting the creation of 70,000 construction jobs if rezoning is pushed through. They also estimate that more than 1,500 building service jobs would be generated.
Garodnick is seen as key to passing the zoning reform, and while he has dismissed the area’s current zoning as “antiquated,” he also has not fully committed to plans as they stand, saying: “There are still open questions about the pricing of air rights, the plan for infrastructure and public realm improvements, and whether all of the density should be added as-of-right, or with further community input.” [Crain’s] –Christopher Cameron