City Hall publishes long-awaited Midtown East rezoning plan

Proposal would allow developers to build up to 30% taller

TRD New York /
Aug.August 25, 2016 08:37 AM

Midtown East could reach new heights — literally. City Hall on Monday published a long-awaited draft proposal to rezone all of Midtown East, which would allow developers to build significantly taller than current rules permit.

Under the plan, developers building close to Grand Central Terminal could benefit from a 30 percent increase in permitted density. Buildings along Park Avenue and near subway stations could also rise significantly higher, while sites farther away from subway stations would not be allowed to rise as high.

The new proposal, which will be used to study the environmental impact of a rezoning, would also allow landowners to trade air rights across Midtown East – as opposed to just between neighboring parcels. according to Crain’s.

The catch: developers who want to benefit from a site’s new maximum density would need to contribute money for public infrastructure improvements or buy air rights from landmarked buildings. City Hall believes it could lead to an additional 6.6 million square feet of office supply.

Bill de Blasio’s predecessor Michael Bloomberg first tried to rezone Midtown East in 2013, but abandoned the plans amid local opposition. The de Blasio administration has taken a more piecemeal approach, rezoning a portion of Vanderbilt Avenue first before considering a broader rezoning.

A public meeting to discuss the proposal is scheduled for September 22.

In June, Sl Green Realty received a $1.5 billion loan for construction on its $3.1 billion One Vanderbilt office tower at Grand Central. [Crain’s] Konrad Putzier


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