NYC begins public review of proposed Midtown East rezoning

Amanda Burden and Midtown East
Amanda Burden and Midtown East

New York City is beginning the public review process of its proposed rezoning of Midtown East, city Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden announced Monday in a news release.

“Our East Midtown plan provides zoning incentives for the development of a handful of new, state-of-the-art sustainable commercial buildings over the next 20 years,” Burden said. “This will enable this iconic district to build on its distinguished building stock and maintain a spectrum of commercial space for different business needs, including tenants seeking modern Class A offices.”

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The rezoning covers the area from East 39th Street to the south, East 57th Street to the north, Second and Third avenues to the east and a line 150 feet east of Fifth Avenue to the west. It includes Grand Central Terminal and Park Avenue, and is served by the Lexington Avenue subway and cross-town subway lines on 42nd and 53rd streets.

A key emphasis of the rezoning would be on energy efficiency, according to the release, with the city Planning Commission requiring new commercial towers built under the plan to be 15 percent more efficient than is required by the current building code.

New developments also would be  allowed to “up zone,” or build higher than the base floor-to-area ratio of 15, by paying $250 per square foot for additional air rights. Proceeds from the air rights sales would go into a District Improvement Fund that would finance  transit and pedestrian improvements to the area. A handful of worship places, such as St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Central Synagogue, are trying to convince the city to include them in the rezoning so they can cash in on potentially lucrative air rights, as The Real Deal reported [Press Release] —Hiten Samtani

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