These projects just beat the rezoning deadline

Applications certified last month will get verdict before regime change

New York /
Jun.June 21, 2021 07:00 AM
Gotham Organization Chairman Joel Picket with the proposed development at 130 Felix Street. (Getty, 130 Felix)

Gotham Organization Chairman Joel Picket with the proposed development at 130 Felix Street. (Getty, 130 Felix)

Some very large new development projects will hear a “yay” or “nay” from City Council members shortly before term limits usher most of them — and the mayor — out of office.

That is good news for the developers, who would rather not leave their projects’ fate to yet-unknown officials. To ensure that, they needed the Department of City Planning to certify their rezoning applications by the end of May, triggering the seven-month public review.

The projects include two supertall towers in Midtown East and a large residential building in the South Street Seaport historic district. One rezoning application certified in June belonging to Robert de Niro’s Wildflower Film Studios in Astoria could also squeeze through before the Dec. 31 regime change.

After an application is certified, the local community board has 60 days to review it. Then the borough president gets up to 30 days and the City Planning Commission as many as 60.

Then it moves to the key stage, the 50 days of City Council review in which the local member, by informal custom, determines the outcome. The mayor then gets a short window to sign off, but that is a formality as the planning commission has already reflected the mayor’s view.

Here are the most notable rezoning applications certified in May:

130 St. Felix Street | Downtown Brooklyn

Gotham Organization wants to build a 23-story, mixed-use development next to the landmarked Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower, now called One Hanson Place. The 146,800-square-foot project would include more than 120 residential units, including 36 affordable condos, and an expansion of the Brooklyn Music School. It faces opposition from condo owners in the next-door tower who would lose views.

170-208 Richmond Terrace, 8-26 Stuyvesant Place | St. George

Madison Square Realty has secured community board approval for its mammoth waterfront complex on Staten Island. The mixed-use development would span 900,000 square feet with 750 residential units — with at least 225, or 30 percent, affordable — across four buildings. The complex would include nearly 19,000 square feet of retail, parking for 341 vehicles and 7,790 square feet of landscaped outdoor area.

341-347 Madison Avenue | Midtown East

Boston Properties, in partnership with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, is moving forward with a plan to replace the transit agency’s former Madison Avenue headquarters — as well as three adjacent MTA-owned lots — with a skyscraper that could rise 1,050 feet.

109 East 42nd Street | Midtown East

TF Cornerstone and RXR Realty seek to build an office and hotel tower 1,600 feet tall next to Grand Central Terminal, replacing the current Grand Hyatt building. The 83-story, 2.2 million-square-foot tower would be named 175 Park Avenue and feature a new public train hall that adds street entrances to the Grand Central/42nd Street subway station.

250 Water Street | South Street Seaport

Howard Hughes Corporation has a clear path to approval now its rezoning application has been certified: Margaret Chin, the local City Council member, supported the project as it endured a rigorous vetting by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. After a substantial redesign – from two towers to a single, shorter structure, Landmarks signed off. The development clocks in at about 600,000 square feet including 345,000 for residential use.

This project was certified this month:

19th Avenue and Luyster Creek | Ditmars-Steinway

Robert de Niro’s Wildflower Film Studios secured the approval of Queens Community Board 1 on Tuesday, the Daily Eagle reported, after City Planning certified its rezoning application. Wildflower purchased the 5.25-acre waterfront parcel across from Rikers Island last year for about $72 million from piano-maker Steinway. The studios would span 650,000 square feet and include 11 sound stages.





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