Real estate players to Garodnick: Oppose Midtown East rezoning at your peril

November 01, 2013 09:14AM

Real estate industry figures have a clear message for New York City Councilman Daniel Garodnick, whose district includes the majority of Midtown East: Slow down the proposed rezoning at your political peril.

Garodnick, who grew up on the East Side and is vying for the position of City Council Speaker, has questioned the rezoning proposal’s impact on transportation and public spaces, despite mounting pressure from the real estate industry to fall in line with the plans. Now, the pressure has evolved into subtle and not-so-subtle warnings.

“Dan Garodnick is right in the catbird seat and he can’t kill it,” Richard Anderson, president of the New York Building Congress, told Capital New York. “He’s got to find a way to mollify some of those folks who are raising a variety of issues and still keep the rezoning going forward.”

Refusing to do so, Anderson added, “would do [him] political harm and would do the city even more harm.”

A real estate executive who spoke on condition of anonymity to Capital New York said that “you don’t want to end up like Ruben Diaz [Jr.],” a reference to the Bronx borough president who, in 2009, shot down a Bloomberg administration plan for converting the Kingsbridge armory into a mall after the developer Related Companies refused to guarantee a living wage to retail workers. At the time, Diaz Jr. was considering a run for citywide office, but later opted out. [Capital New York]  – Hiten Samtani