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Old November 13th, 2013, 01:04 PM   #761
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http://m.us.wsj.com/articles/SB10001.../new-york-main
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Old November 13th, 2013, 03:12 PM   #762
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Quote:
The Bloomberg administration is ending its fight for a project to transform the area around Grand Central Terminal with eye-catching skyscrapers.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office issued a statement on Tuesday saying it plans to withdraw the proposal that would have rezoned the area to allow for about a dozen new towers primarily for offices.

The mayor's office cited a lack of support from the City Council, which was scheduled to vote on it later this week.

"This will unfortunately cost the area hundreds of millions of dollars in badly needed subway and street improvements and $1 billion in additional tax revenue—as well as tens of thousands of new jobs that would have been created," a spokesman for the mayor said.

The proposed rezoning, which was formally unveiled last July, proved contentious. The local council member, Daniel Garodnick, as well as community groups, preservationists and the hotel workers union all said the mayor was rushing to push it through before he left office.

"As we had feared from the start, there was not enough time to do it all in this administration," Mr. Garodnick said in an interview.

Mr. Garodnick said he and other members of the City Council made the decision to vote down the rezoning Tuesday afternoon. He said an issue that proved contentious was the pricing of the air rights that would be sold to developers to help pay for infrastructure and other improvements to the area.

Such a defeat is rare for the Bloomberg administration, which successfully rezoned about a third of the city. The City Council has voted down only one major land-use project, the development of Kingsbridge Armory into a shopping mall, which failed over the issue of whether retail workers on the project would be paid higher wages.

At some early meetings, administration officials yelled at local elected officials present and delivered the same presentations to the same groups multiple times, according to people familiar with the process. Near the end, the administration seemed more willing to compromise, but there wasn't enough time to reach a deal on some of the more complex issues at this point, those people said.

"The administration's rushed and politically oblivious approach made a responsible deal on Mayor Bloomberg's timetable impossible," said state Sen. Elizabeth Krueger, who also represents the east side.

Another challenge was that the Bloomberg administration was still seeking approval after the mayoral election, when its political clout had been diminished.

The vote was to come during the race for City Council speaker, in which Mr. Garodnick is considered a leading candidate, and political analysts said it would help him to vote down a proposal that was unpopular with a number of groups.

Mr. Garodnick rejected analysis by some political observers that his opposition to the rezoning was motivated by the speaker's race. "We've been so consistent about the things that we were raising about this, that's silly," he said.

Real-estate industry officials strongly supported the proposal, which they said was necessary to make the city competitive with modern towers in places such as London and Shanghai.

"We are obviously disappointed in this decision. This plan would have created tens of thousands of good-paying jobs for New Yorkers in every borough and resulted in tens of millions of dollars in private-sector funding for public infrastructure," said Steve Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York.

The proposal will likely be revisited early in the next administration. Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio supports a rezoning of the area, but said he would like to spend more time working out the issues with the proposal, including the improvement of infrastructure and pricing of the air rights.
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Old November 13th, 2013, 07:38 PM   #763
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I hope in no later than late 2014 we can celebrate the passage of the revised Eastern Midtown District plan, though it's sad when egos and competing agendas on all sides thwart common sense. But hopefully the tweaks will be relatively minor, and I have nothing against the idea for the city to not let the developers dramatically undercut a fair air rights pricing.
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Old November 13th, 2013, 08:56 PM   #764
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I'm not knowledgable about this stuff so sorry if my question sounds silly, but I'd like to ask, why do developers have to buy air rights? I mean, wouldn't it benefit the city if they built their supertalls as tall as feasible? I don't understand why it is in the interest of the city to limit the most major redevelopments?
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Old November 13th, 2013, 09:20 PM   #765
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The simplest answer (and the one at the core of the Midtown East rezoning issue) is no, just letting developers build as big as they please will not strictly benefit the city. Bigger projects mean more commuters, foot traffic, power consumption, which means greater stress on infrastructure such a the subways, roads, trash, the power grid, etc. The selling of air rights is meant as a way for developers to pay into improvements in those areas that will mitigate the added pressures of large developments. The city council clearly thinks that with the proposed plan, developers wouldn't be paying their fair share to make sure the neighborhood can handle their projects.
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Old November 13th, 2013, 09:42 PM   #766
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As long as the aim is for the best development plan possible, with through air rights pricing a fair amount of money available for the needed infrastructure modernization and upkeep maybe a pause before getting it passed prematurely without sufficient potential funding isn't a bad idea. Just don't lose this as a major priority and get the specifics done over the next year for passage no later than this time next year.
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Old November 13th, 2013, 10:10 PM   #767
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarshallKnight View Post
The simplest answer (and the one at the core of the Midtown East rezoning issue) is no, just letting developers build as big as they please will not strictly benefit the city. Bigger projects mean more commuters, foot traffic, power consumption, which means greater stress on infrastructure such a the subways, roads, trash, the power grid, etc. The selling of air rights is meant as a way for developers to pay into improvements in those areas that will mitigate the added pressures of large developments. The city council clearly thinks that with the proposed plan, developers wouldn't be paying their fair share to make sure the neighborhood can handle their projects.
Thanks for the info
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Old November 14th, 2013, 03:22 AM   #768
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Quote:
City Reacts to Midtown East Rezoning's Sudden Death


Word began to spread yesterday evening that the Midtown East Rezoning would not have enough support to be approved by City Council when it was voted on later this week, and the Bloomberg administration responded by saying that they would withdraw the proposal. So, for now at least, the Midtown East Rezoning is effectively dead, with much of the credit—or blame, depending on where you're coming from—going to Council Speaker Christine Quinn and her possible successor Daniel Garodnick, who represents most of the area that would have been rezoned. There are a number of things to take away here, the main one being that this is a huge a blow to Bloomberg, both in terms of his remaining days in office and his legacy, which the Midtown East Rezoning would have cemented.
http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/1...dden_death.php
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Old November 14th, 2013, 03:26 AM   #769
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Dammit!
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Old November 14th, 2013, 03:28 AM   #770
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Unbelievable they have decided to prevent billions from being invested in the City's Central Business District. Despicable.
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Old November 14th, 2013, 03:39 AM   #771
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This is alive and well and will pass in 2014.
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Old November 14th, 2013, 03:58 AM   #772
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertWalpole View Post
This is alive and well and will pass in 2014.
http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article...ATE/131119961w
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Old November 14th, 2013, 04:32 AM   #773
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertWalpole View Post
This is alive and well and will pass in 2014.
I wish I shared your optimism...
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Old November 14th, 2013, 04:44 AM   #774
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Read the articles. GarodDICK and DiBlasio support it .
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Old November 14th, 2013, 05:17 AM   #775
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425 is still proceeding while The Vanderbilt will be waiting to see what happens under De Blasio's plan.

Note: 1,200 ft was planned for Vanderbilt under Bloomberg proposal.

Future Unclear for Towers on East Side
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/14/ny...side.html?_r=0

Quote:
The day after the Bloomberg administration withdrew its plan for a swath of glass towers in Midtown because of an absence of support in the City Council, a developer, David W. Levinson, was fielding phone calls at his office near Carnegie Hall.

Callers wanted to know, Is your project dead? — and quickly offered condolences.

“I want people to know we’re fine,” Mr. Levinson said. “We’re still building the finest building in Midtown. Our plans are filed; we’re going.”

Starting in 2015, Mr. Levinson, chief executive of L&L Holding, still plans to demolish a 31-story Park Avenue building to make way for a 41-story tower that he will pitch to hedge funds, private equity firms and other well-heeled tenants.


The demise of a sweeping rezoning plan for the city’s premier office district, centered on Grand Central Terminal, quickly provoked alarming pronouncements from the Bloomberg administration and real estate lobbyists that it would bring many projects to a halt, costing the area, in Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s words, “tens of thousands of jobs” and “$1 billion in additional tax revenue.”

Not exactly.

Under the proposed rezoning, developers say there were only three projects, including Mr. Levinson’s, that would have gotten underway in the 73-block Grand Central district over the next 10 years. Most property owners, they say, are unwilling to forgo revenue for the many years it might take to empty a building of tenants, demolish the structure and erect a new tower.

All three projects may still go forward. Neither of the key opponents of the Bloomberg proposal — Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio and Daniel R. Garodnick, the city councilman who represents the area and is a candidate to become the next Council speaker — is opposed to development.

Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, pledged to work with the Council on a “revised zoning plan for the area by the end of 2014.”

“For the sake of New York City’s long-term economic vitality,” he said, “Midtown East should be rezoned to allow the creation of a world-class, 21st-century commercial district. But it needs to be done right.”

Although he has yet to lay out a detailed vision for development, Mr. de Blasio has embraced the concept of high-density development near transit centers and has expressed a desire to create 200,000 affordable apartments in a city where housing is increasingly beyond the reach of poor families.

Those who know Mr. de Blasio say he may ask developers who want to build taller towers for more in return than the Bloomberg administration did, including low-cost housing.

“It’s entirely appropriate to take a few more months to review the Bloomberg proposal in light of density, the carrying capacity of the transit system and equity,” Ronald Shiffman, a former city planning commissioner, said. “He might want to link commercial development to the creation of affordable housing.”

The heart of the Bloomberg plan involved selling developers the right to build taller, modern buildings that would rise higher than the Chrysler Building. The proceeds were to be used to finance badly needed transit improvements at Grand Central and on the streets above.

Although the Bloomberg administration and certain developers said the sale process would generate $1 billion, critics were skeptical.

In 2006, the Bloomberg administration used a similar approach for the development of Hudson Yards on the West Side. It issued $3 billion in bonds for an extension of the No. 7 subway, saying revenue from new development would be used to pay off the debt.

But the pace of development has been much slower than projected. From 2006 to 2012, the administration had to tap into the city’s budget for $374 million to make the annual bond payments.

That may prompt the de Blasio administration to seek to finance transit improvement with state and federal money.

Some civic activists and developers also had feared that new office towers built near Grand Central with incentives from the Bloomberg plan would compete with other city-subsidized developments, at the World Trade Center and at the West Side rail yards. In the meantime, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is selling three adjoining buildings on Madison Avenue that developers say could be used for a new hotel.

Mr. Garodnick said that a third potential project, a large skyscraper on an entire block just east of Grand Central, was “exactly” the kind of building one would want next to the city’s transit hub. That is where SL Green Realty, one of the city’s largest commercial landlords, planned to build a 65-story, 1.6 million-square-foot tower under the Bloomberg zoning proposal.

The tower, called 1 Vanderbilt, would rise about 1,200 feet above 42nd Street, 150 feet taller than the Chrysler Building.

After the city withdrew its rezoning plan, Marc Holliday, chief executive of SL Green, said he welcomed the “growing consensus that there is an urgent need for modern office buildings in Midtown and the transit infrastructure to support them.”

He added in a statement that he would work with the new mayor and Mr. Garodnick. But during an interview on Friday, Mr. Holliday said that he would not go forward with the Vanderbilt building unless he got the development rights offered under Mr. Bloomberg’s now-scuttled proposal.

Last year, the company did design a 40-story, 1.2-million-square-foot tower for the same site.

But now, he said, a smaller tower “will not work economically; it’s unfeasible at today’s rents and cost structure.”

It remains to be seen whether that is his bargaining position or his bottom line.
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Old November 14th, 2013, 06:23 AM   #776
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Garodnick clearly supports SL Green's tower, 1 Vanderbilt. I expect that it will start in 2015.
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Old November 14th, 2013, 08:25 AM   #777
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The developer for that tower however seems resistant to go ahead with demolition of the existing property sometime next year and construction starting in 2015 unless it was done under the terms of the Bloomberg proposal, not some new revision Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio and Councilman Garodnick support. Though it's clear Garodnick is very enthusiastic about 1 Vanderbilt Place, and it also looks like 425 Park and at least one other major project still may well be very much in the game for a 2015 start unless Garodnick and de Blasio can ease the developer's concerns, 1 Vanderbilt Place may be delayed. It shouldn't be...even if the East Midtown District proposal takes at least another year before approval,even Garodnick understands the symbolic importance of the kind of commercial investment needed in the District for the future of New York City's economic health and competitiveness. He appears to at least approve of the height of 1,200-1,250 ft... whatever concerns overall about the District, it's imperative to get a couple of big projects like 1 Vanderbilt Place and 425 Park Avenue under way at least.
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Old November 14th, 2013, 08:56 AM   #778
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Glass half empty time:

Axed Midtown East plans quash SL Green’s One Vanderbilt



Quote:
The demise of Mayor Bloomberg’s Midtown East rezoning proposal put a freeze on developer SL Green Realty’s lofty plans for a 65-story, 1.5 million-square-foot office tower One Vanderbilt adjacent to Grand Central Station.

The 73-block rezoning would have allowed for taller skyscrapers, specifically the one SL Green CEO Marc Holliday hoped to build. The firm planned to donate $200 million for public improvements and expand the train station’s underground concourse to connect to the tower, the New York Daily News reported.

An underground hallway would cover both 42nd and 43rd Streets, and create new entrances to the terminal and a 4,500-square-foot glass space for the public at 43rd Street and Vanderbilt Avenue.

“We appreciate the growing consensus that there is an urgent need for modern office buildings in Midtown and the transit infrastructure to support them,” Holliday told the Daily News.

SL Green unveiled designs for the tower, located at Vanderbilt and Madison avenues and 42nd and 43rd streets, last month, as previously reported.

The Midtown East plan is not totally dead, as mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has vowed to revisit the plan, albeit with potentially significant changes.

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-styl...icle-1.1515052
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Old November 14th, 2013, 12:16 PM   #779
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As long as it saves the historical buildings on the plot at 51 E. 42nd St., I'm glad...




http://professional.wsj.com/article/...&mg=reno64-wsj
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Old November 14th, 2013, 01:23 PM   #780
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I'm afraid this tower will take the whole block.
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