City Planning approves One Vanderbilt

Proposal expected to go before Council in mid-May

From left: Andrew Mathias, a rendering of One Vanderbilt and TD Bank
From left: Andrew Mathias, a rendering of One Vanderbilt and TD Bank

The City Planning Commission on Monday approved SL Green Realty’s proposal for its One Vanderbilt office tower and the rezoning of five blocks nearby.

The commission voted 12 to 0 with one recusal in favor of the firm’s plan to build a 64-story, 1.6 million square foot office tower in the heart of Midtown East.

SL Green CEO Marc Holliday said he was “extremely pleased” that the commission and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer voted in favor of the plan.

“This iconic new skyscraper will not only create the modern office space that global corporate tenants demand but it will also generate thousands of good paying middle class jobs and will offer a faster, more efficient commute for residents of every borough, straphangers from across the region, and visitors from around the world,” he said in a statement.

As part of SL Green’s proposal, the company has committed to providing infrastructure improvements to the Grand Central subway station totaling roughly $210 million.

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“The proposed building itself would be a significant addition to the East Midtown business district and to our skyline,” CPC Chairman Carl Weisbrod said before the vote.”It would provide the first new office space in at least a decade in the area around Grand Central Terminal, helping further the City’s goal of keeping East Midtown one of the best business addresses in the world. It would also be one of, if not the, most sustainable office buildings in the city.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio put forward a proposal to rezone five blocks north of Grand Central Terminal after the Bloomberg administration scuttled a wider plan to rezone Midtown East. The De Blasio plan paved the way for SL Green’s tower, which was met with some opposition, most notably from Grand Central owner Andrew Penson, CEO of Argent Ventures.

Penson hired Harvard constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe, who argued that the city was “unconstitutionally taking” Penson’s air rights while burdening tax payers with $1 billion in liabilities.

The CPC’s approval paves the way for the plan to go before the full City Council for a vote. A first hearing has been scheduled for mid-April, and a full vote is expected the following month.

SL Green has signed TD Bank as an anchor tenant in the building with a 200,000 square foot lease.