Pols criticize Midtown East streetscaping plan for late arrival

Councilman Dan Garodnick and Midtown East
Councilman Dan Garodnick and Midtown East

City leaders are unhappy that a study for streetscaping Midtown East that is part of the proposed rezoning won’t arrive until the fall, DNAinfo reported.

The Department of City Planning said Monday that three firms — developer Jonathan Rose Companies, architecture firm Gehl Architects and project consultant Skanska — will complete an East Midtown Rezoning Vision Plan later this year. The plan includes identifying ways to “enhance the public realm in this area, such as landscaping and public seating, among other treatments,” a release said.

But City Councilman Dan Garodnick said the plan should have been included in the initial rezoning application certified by the city in April. Garodnick and Community Board 5 Chairwoman Vikki Barbero said the announcement of a vision plan serves as the city’s acknowledgment that the application was not comprehensive enough.

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Edith Hsu-Chen, the department’s Manhattan director, denied that claim, saying the proposal was complete and this vision plan “goes above and beyond.”

“It’s going to serve as a guide for future decisions,” Hsu-Chen told DNAinfo.

The city began the public review process of its proposed rezoning April 22, as previously reported. [DNAinfo]Mark Maurer