Plans to rezone Midtown East are one step closer to becoming a reality after the city kick-started a lengthy land-use review process on Tuesday.
The Department of City Planning certified a proposal to rezone Midtown East, meaning the plans will now make their way through the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, department officials announced on Tuesday. As part of the ULURP, the proposal — which could add 6.5 million square feet of commercial space to the neighborhood — will be reviewed by community boards 5 and 6, the Manhattan borough president, the City Planning Commission and the City Council. The process is expected to take seven months.
City Planning released its rezoning proposal in August, identifying 16 sites where 6.5 million square feet of office space could be added if the area is rezoned. Building owners would be able to either buy from a pool of 3.6 million square feet of landmarked air rights to beef up their square footage or — if within a specific transit improvement zone — contribute directly to specific infrastructure projects to benefit from the rezoning. The city proposed to take a 20 percent cut of air rights sales, which will be dedicated to public improvements. The air rights also have a floor price of $78.60 per square foot. — Kathryn Brenzel