Government briefs

Grand Central station
Grand Central station

Midtown East rezoning heads to the City Council

The City Planning Commission unanimously approved the Bloomberg administration’s Midtown East rezoning plan, Crain’s reported. The vote was a crucial step in the approval process for the controversial plan, which has drawn criticism from community groups and some public officials. The rezoning now faces its final test in front of the City Council, which is now holding public hearings on the plan and has until the end of this month to vote on it. The plan would upzone a large swath of Midtown to encourage the construction of new, modern skyscrapers. The city would sell air rights to allow that development, using the proceeds to pay for transit and pedestrian improvements around Grand Central station.

Sweetheart WTC naming deal scrutinized by AG’s office

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State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has launched a probe to investigate a 1986 deal in which late Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive Guy Tozzoli and his group, the World Trade Center Association, purchased the World Trade Center’s naming rights for just $10, the New York Post reported. While Tozzoli earned tens of millions by selling the rights to the name to hundreds of companies, the Port Authority allegedly never saw a dime. Tozzoli, who oversaw the design and construction of the Twin Towers, died in February and has since been succeeded by Eric Dahl.

Two Trees wants to put Domino’s affordable housing across the street

Two Trees Management wants to put nearly a third of the affordable housing at the Domino Sugar factory development across the street from the rest of the waterfront project, the Brooklyn Paper reported. Two Trees last month argued before the Department of Housing Preservation and Development that all the development parcels of the 2,284-apartment Williamsburg project should be treated as one large parcel, a move that would allow Two Trees to put many of the project’s affordable units into the first tower, on Kent Avenue between South Third and South Fourth streets, rather than spreading them evenly throughout the five planned towers. Some community members expressed concern that the plan amounts to a “separate-but-equal” approach, but Dave Lombino, head of special projects for Two Trees, said that isn’t the case. “Let’s be clear: Two Trees is 100 percent committed to ending the ‘poor door’ trend in Williamsburg,” he said.