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Old October 25th, 2012, 07:55 PM   #1
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Midtown East Rezoning

Mayor Bloomberg's vision of a new, brasher, taller Midtown has unleashed a swell of new proposals, ideas and visions for Midtown Manhattan.

This thread focuses on the new Midtown upzoning and the concepts and conflicts sure to ensue.




http://ny.curbed.com/tags/midtown-east-rezoning


The Plan:

City Planning Presents Midtown East Rezoning Plan


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...010664218.html

Quote:
While a new pedestrian plaza near Grand Central Terminal has grabbed the headlines this week, it’s really just a small aspect of a widespread rezoning of Midtown East to which Mayor Michael Bloomberg is reportedly pinning his legacy.

Bloomberg News reported that the Department of City Planning presented the mayor’s preliminary vision for the rezoning, which is aimed at encouraging modern office development in Midtown East, to Community Board 5 yesterday.

The plan would allow for building owners to acquire air rights to build as high as 900 feet in the area immediately surrounding Grand Central. Outside the “core” area, on the blocks bounded by Lexington and Madison avenues and East 39th and East 49th streets, towers of 700 feet would be permitted. According to the New York Observer the floor-area-ratio limits would increase to 24 for the core area, and 21.6 outside the core. Elsewhere in Midtown East the allowable FAR would rise to 18 from 15.

However, to acquire these rights, developers would be required to obain “a new special permit,” which would be limited to key sites where developers promise to fund improvements to pedestrian areas and transit hubs. They can also purchase air rights from nearby landmarks.

The community board voiced concern about further congesting its neighborhood, but supported the “basic core” idea, according to its chairwoman.
----

NY observer

Quote:
How About Another Empire State Building or Two?
City Outlines Mega Midtown East Rezoning






By Matt Chaban 7/12



It’s the moment developers, planning geeks, and perhaps the entire city without knowing it, has been waiting for all year: the unveiling of the city’s plans, first hinted at in the mayor’s State of the City address, to remake the face of Midtown Manhattan.

It is big. No, really big. Bigger than almost anything the city has ever seen. Empire State Building big. While that will not be the case for every tower that is eventually built through the program, it could be for at least a few.

The parameters, unveiled at Community Board 5 last night, are close to what had been previously hinted at, an area stretching from 39th Street up to 57th Street, emanating out from Grand Central. Fifth Avenue has been eliminated from the original study area, as has the northern reaches of Third and Lexington avenues, which were considered too residential. Still, the plan affects all or part of 74 blocks in the heart of the city.

Far fewer of them will be developed because a provision in the plan limits development sites to only those that stretch the length of an entire avenue blockfront, and they must sit on a site that covers at least 25,000 square feet, or a little more than half an acre. Still, that is already the case for many Midtown towers, including landmarks like the Seagram and Lipstick buildings, for example. The bigger challenge would be emptying old towers of tenants so new buildings can be built.

Just how big? As suggested at another public meeting last month, the focus of the rezoning is on the blocks surrounding Grand Central Terminal as well as the length of Park Avenue to 57th Street. Surrounding avenues will see their density bumped up slightly, from a floor area ratio of 15 to 18 (excuse the technical numbers for a moment). Park Avenue and the Grand Central subdistrict, which will expand one block north to 49th Street and two blocks south to 39th Street, between Madison and Lexington Avenues, will have an FAR of 21.6. A new Grand Central core district will be created for the blocks immediately around Grand Central with an FAR of 24. (See: map.)

To put that all in perspective, the massive Pan Am/MetLife tower that currently looms over Grand Central has an FAR of 18. City Planning pointed to the old Bear Stearns headquarters around the corner, at 383 Madison Avenue, as having an FAR of 21.6. One Bryant Park, just down 42nd Street, hits 24 FAR, and is one of the biggest buildings in the city. Frank Ruchala, the project manager for the rezoning from the Department of City Planning, mapped out scenarios with towers rising between 575 feet and 700 feet on Park Avenue and between 700 and 800 feet around Grand Central, approaching the height of 30 Rockefeller Center.

“We think that’s what’s appropriate to build the kinds of building we need,” Mr. Ruchala said. After all, this plan is predicated on preparing the Central Business District for a major modernization over the coming decades.

But the fun does not end there. All these big new buildings can be built as of right, meaning no cumbersome public reviews. But should a developer wish to aim high, really high, they can go for an additional FAR bonus, a jump to 24 along Park and around Grand Central, while the Grand Central core subdistrict, the eleven small blocks around the train station, jumps up to a whopping 30 FAR, on par with the skyline defining Empire State Building (FAR of 33, the only thing in town that comes close). As if to drive this point home, City Planning’s presentation showed a spindly tower, which looked not unlike the MoMA tower it once rejected, piercing the skyline above Grand Central.

To achieve this, a developer must submit to a special permit, requiring the standard (and often torturous) public reviews. There would be a considerable emphasis on quality design, both at the top of the building, which would almost certainly take a prominent place on the skyline, as well as at the base, where “a significant public space” would be required, as Edith Hsu-Chen, director of the Department of City Planning’s Manhattan office, put it.

[...]
------

NY Post

Quote:
Grand Central's Grand Plan



Posted: 12:50 AM, July 17, 2012

Up-zoning the district near Grand Central Terminal is vital to the city’s future, a way to ensure that Manhattan’s most desirable commercial zone can compete in the future with global capitals like London and Shanghai.

But unless you’re a property owner or a land-use lawyer, the topic can put you to sleep faster than anything they sell at Duane Reade. That’s where Realty Check comes in.

Let’s explain in English what the Department of City Planning (DCP) has in mind — and clear up misconceptions in the press over the past week. Stay with us, because after the baby steps, it gets more interesting:

1. What is it? If approved by the City Council, the plan would allow developers to build larger buildings in certain parts of Midtown — like between 39th and 57th streets and between Second and Fifth avenues.

2. Why is it necessary? Current zoning permits new structures to have a floor-area ratio (FAR) of only 15 — which is smaller than many of the buildings that already exist because the area was down-zoned in 1961, after they were constructed. The city urgently needs modern new office towers, but nobody’s going to put up such small ones that are now allowed in Midtown’s precious heart.

image hosted on flickr

383 Madison which replaced a blocked 72 story tower proposal.

3. Whoa! — 383 Madison Ave., which opened in 2000, doesn’t look like one of those smaller buildings. In fact, the former Bear Stearns headquarters, now part of JPMorgan Chase, was indeed built to up-zoned specifications in the late 1990s-2000.

In techno-speak, it has a 21.6 density rating, or FAR. How was that possible with a limit of 15? “An arduous process,” says DCP East Midtown project manager Frank Ruchala. It included going through the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), buying air rights and negotiating with the MTA and the city — an exception to 1961 down-zoning permitted under a 1992 Grand Central Subdistrict, which was supposed to liberate properties from the 15 FAR rule but almost never did. The new zoning is supposed to make things less “arduous.”


4. All right, how much bigger could new buildings be under the new proposal? From slightly larger (18 FAR) to much larger (30 FAR), depending on where in the district they are.

5. But I’ve seen maps showing one big district with no FAR subdivisions. They were maps of the DCP’s “study area.” In fact, the district to be up-zoned is chopped into distinct sub-zones. And it’s been shrunk from the boundaries shown in the Wall Street Journal last week. Rezoning on Third and Lexington avenues would apply only as far north as 54th Street, not 57th Street, and no longer east to Fifth Avenue but to Madison.

It’s even more complicated: there’s one set of rules for developers who proceed “as of right” — which isn’t as simple as it sounds either — and those who seek a “special permit” to erect even larger buildings than those allowed as of right.

6. OK, how big? Under the “as of right” framework, the up-zoning would be to a 24 FAR in the roughly square area bounded by 42nd and 46th streets and Lexington and Madison avenues; and 18 or 21.6 FAR in corridors running north and south of and parallel to the square.


http://www.newyorkyimby.com/2012/07/...-plan-for.html

Contrary to what’s been published, there are no height limits in the area either in existing zoning or in the rezoning. Greater heights than today’s would be entirely a function of the enlarged FAR, which require more floors to accommodate more square feet, and thus a loftier building. Not that the new zoning would lead to a sprouting of tall “sliver” buildings — it requires “qualifying sites” to have full-block avenue frontage and a minimum 25,000 square-foot footprint.

7. What’s the catch with “as of right”? A developer would not have to go through time-consuming and costly ULURP. But they’d have to pay the city for each additional square foot desired to build in excess of the current 15 FAR or buy air rights (see No. 10 below).

The payment to the city would buy a District Improvement Bonus (DIB) to help pay for transit and other public-oriented upgrades in the area.

8. How much might that cost? “We’re working on that,” says DCP Manhattan director Edith Hsu-Chen. It won’t come cheap. “It isn’t going to be like at Hudson Yards,” Hsu-Chen said. The DIB in the Yards district, similar to what’s proposed near Grand Central, is $120 per square foot. “This will be more,” she said.

9). What about “special permits”? You could build larger than under the as-of-right framework at certain locations — up to 30 FAR in the square described in No. 6 above, and to 24 FAR on Park Avenue north of it to 57th Street. But those proposals must go through ULURP. Plus, a design must be approved by the DCP, which would decide whether it delivers “a superior relationship to other buildings, the skyline and the sidewalk.”

10. To build the maximum size allowed under either option, must I buy all the bonus FAR from the city? In much of the overall rezoned district, yes. But there’s another option in the “Grand Central Subdistrict” which includes much of the land from 39th-49th streets.

There, you’d still have to buy at least the first three additional FAR as a DIB. But you could also buy the rest in the form of development (air) rights from Grand Central area landmarks. Nearly all the roughly 1.5 million square feet of available air rights are those attached to Grand Central Terminal itself. They are owned by Andrew S. Penson’s Argent Ventures, which — as Lois Weiss first reported way back in 2007 — bought the land under the station and the air above it.

11. So one day the city and Argent could be in competition to sell FAR to the same developer? That’s the way it sounds to us.

12). What does “one day” mean?” The new zoning won’t take effect until 2017, because Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden wants to protect the Hudson Yards District from competition in the short run. Or even the appearance of competition — since many real estate insiders say that a rezoned Midtown East wouldn’t really compete with Hudson Yards, which will have larger footprints and floor plates and lower tenant costs due to subsidies.

[...]
Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/busines...#ixzz20uy3ETe8
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Old October 25th, 2012, 07:57 PM   #2
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The Battle For Air Rights

Midtown rezoning has air rights players watching and waiting

Building owners, investors nervous about how Bloomberg proposal will pencil out financially

October 25, 2012 10:30AM



Quote:
Real estate players with interests in Midtown aren’t quite sure how to react to the city’s sweeping Midtown East rezoning proposal, which would allow for the construction of taller buildings in the area.

The proposal is “a double-edged sword,” said Paul Selver, an attorney for Argent Ventures, which, through a subsidiary, owns more than 1 million square feet of Grand Central Terminal’s unused air rights. The rezoning could either help or harm the value of the company’s investment, he said. Potential buyers of the air rights that Argent and others own are also anxiously awaiting some of the plan’s key details.

The Bloomberg administration proposed the rezoning in July as a way to encourage developers to replace the aging office buildings in Midtown East with more modern office towers — thus making New York City more globally competitive. The proposal is now on a tight schedule to get a green light before Mayor Bloomberg’s term expires at the end of 2013 and must pass through the city’s Universal Land-Use Review Procedure, which includes approval from the City Council.



Under the plan, developers in the entire 74-block Midtown East area would be allowed to construct taller buildings if they make a payment, called a District Improvement Bonus, into a new city fund. In addition, the existing “transfer zone” for the so-called Grand Central Subdistrict — a subsection of the broader Midtown East area — would be expanded, so that air rights there can be sold more freely.

Expanding the transfer zone in the Grand Central Subdistrict is a significant move because, typically, air rights in the city are transferrable only to adjacent lots — or, in the case of landmark properties, across the street. (The city established the subdistrict, which includes the area between East 41st and 49th streets and Fifth and Third avenues, in 1992 in an effort to encourage the use of air rights. But in an illustration of why it’s now expanding the zone, only one such transfer has occurred since — to 383 Madison Avenue, a 47-story building completed in 2001.)

In 2006, Andrew Penson’s Argent Ventures made a bet on the Grand Central area. The company bought the land under the train station and, by extension, its air rights from the American Financial Group, which, years earlier, had taken over the remnants of the Penn Central railway. Argent now holds about 1.3 million square feet of the unused remaining air rights.

According to PropertyShark, other air rights owners in the area include St. Patrick’s Cathedral (1.2 million square feet), St. Bartholomew’s Church (646,299 square feet), 390 Park Avenue Associates (358,994 square feet), 250 Park Avenue (304,628 square feet), Landgray Associates (185,625 square feet) and Central Synagogue (165,049 square feet). Some of those owners, however, are in the broader Midtown East area and not the Grand Central Subdistrict, so will only be able to sell to adjacent building owners or those across the street.

But the Daily News reported last month that the Archdiocese of New York is lobbying the city for the right to transfer its development rights anywhere in the zone, despite the fact that Grand Central is the only landmarked building that would be able to do so under the current proposal. Selver, Argent’s lawyer and the cochairman of the land-use department at the law firm Kramer Levin, said in an interview with The Real Deal that the future value of his client’s air rights will be determined, in large part, by the specifics of the rezoning.

That is because under the Bloomberg proposal, in order to use the air rights that they purchase, developers would first have to buy separate development rights from the city, with the proceeds from those sales going into the fund to pay for pedestrian and transit improvements in the area.
For example, within the Grand Central Subdistrict, building a tower with a floor-area ratio of up to 15 — in other words, a building with 15 times as many square feet as on the underlying lot — would be allowed as of right. But in order to build more, up to a FAR of 18, developers would have to pay into the city fund. To build even higher than that, to a FAR of up to 21.6, developers could either make additional payments to the city or buy air rights from those like Argent who own them. Consequently, the amount the city sets for the price of the separate development rights that it will be selling will affect the value of the privately owned air rights.

A competitive edge

Howard Goldman, a partner in the land-use law firm Goldman Harris, said in its current form, the proposed rezoning could put the city fund in competition with private air rights owners. “Any requirement that you use the city’s air rights first basically creates serious competition,” Goldman said. “The city can set the price. They can underbid Grand Central if they want to and also give themselves a competitive advantage.” Selver expressed a similar concern. “In the past, the city has set the number at which they will ‘sell’ development rights too low,” he wrote in an e-mail. “They will tell you that they need to do so to encourage development, and even accepting that, I’ve never seen them set a number high enough.”

Since so few air rights have been sold in the Grand Central Subdistrict, there are no comps and pricing is expected to be tricky. A spokesperson for the Department of City Planning, which is overseeing the rezoning, said the city is still determining the payment amounts it would require for its fund. But she said that the decision-making process will take into account the value of privately held development rights in the area, and will be complete before the public review process begins in the first quarter of 2013.

There is also the question of how many developers will be interested in buying extra development rights. The proposed rezoning would only allow taller new buildings on sites with full avenue frontage and at least 25,000 square feet of lot size. The goal is to encourage what the planning department calls “significant new commercial buildings.”

Still, there are a few sites within the Grand Central Subdistrict whose owners — or future owners — would qualify. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said early this year that it’s planning to sell its headquarters, a row of prewar office buildings at 341, 345 and 347 Madison Avenue that take up the length of the block between East 44th and 45th streets. Under the proposed rezoning, a buyer could demolish those buildings and construct a larger tower in their place. Meanwhile, 380 Madison Avenue, at East 46th Street, was left without a major tenant in March when Investment Technology Group moved out, and the owners are reportedly planning to renovate or tear down the building.

‘The real impetus’

Goldman called replacing Midtown’s aging office stock “the real impetus” for the rezoning. East Midtown’s office buildings are significantly older than in “competitor cities” like London and Tokyo, city planning officials say.

To address that, Bloomberg’s proposal would also allow owners of qualified buildings that are “overbuilt” — meaning that their towers exceed the allowable height under current zoning guidelines, but were likely grandfathered in — to tear them down and replace them at their existing height or, in some cases, taller if they pay into the new fund. Goldman said he thinks many qualifying owners will seize the opportunity — despite the mandatory payments into the city fund.

Another source, who asked not to be named, noted that the costs of rebuilding would be significant, but that landlords would look at the longterm financial benefits. “Potentially, it’s anyone who owns a property that’s either underbuilt — which very few of them are — or is old and tired, and the owner is willing to demolish it, lose his rent stream for a couple of years and build another one.” The city may not need many property owners to modernize to deem the rezoning a success: The city planning spokesperson emphasized that the goal is to seed the area with just a handful of modern and sustainable office buildings.

All this depends, of course, on whether the proposal is approved (and in what form) before Bloomberg’s term is up.

[...]
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Old October 26th, 2012, 01:53 PM   #3
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Vision: SOM's 'Grand Central Halo'

WSJ

Quote:
NY REAL ESTATE COMMERCIALOctober 17, 2012, 9:41 p.m. ET

Untangling the Grand Central Snarl




A pedestrian halo suspended in the sky between two office towers. An elevated glass walkway with seasonal grasses. A pedestrian plaza with sidewalk cafes and retail.

These are a few of the proposals by architects who want to transform Grand Central Terminal from a chaotic beehive back to its former glory as a stately entry point to the city for the many thousands of commuters and tourists who use it each day.

The Department of City Planning has proposed a rezoning of the area around Grand Central, including parts of Park and Madison avenues, to allow for a handful of new office towers, some of which could rival iconic buildings in Shanghai, Dubai and London.

As part of the proposed rezoning, some developers would be required to donate to a fund to make infrastructure upgrades in the area, including building additional stairways to access the subway platforms in Grand Central and a pedestrian mall on Vanderbilt Avenue.

But some want to see more ambitious solutions to Grand Central's pedestrian traffic jams, which are only expected to increase with the addition of more office space and new commuter access to the terminal by the Long Island Rail Road. "What's in it for the public?" said Roger Duffy, a design partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, an architecture firm.


A rednering of a High Line-like walkway by WXY Architecture.

The firm was one of three asked by the Municipal Art Society of New York, a nonprofit, to submit proposals about how to redesign public space in the area. The group plans to unveil the submissions at a conference Thursday, which it hopes will influence city planners as they contemplates upgrades to the area. The proposed rezoning is still in the early stages of the public approval process.

"Grand Central itself is our most beloved landmark. It's the center of commercial New York. It's also a neighborhood. But yet, the area over the years, it has become somewhat disconnected and a little lonely at times, particularly in the evening," said Vin Cipolla, president of MAS.

The ideas from the architects have thus far found a receptive audience with the department. "I look forward to seeing the concepts that the MAS teams have put forward and to continuing conversations with the public about critical pedestrian and transit network improvements that can accompany future development in East Midtown," City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden said in a statement.


A rednering of a pedestrian plaza for easier terminal access by Foster + Partners.

The most visually striking proposal, designed by Skidmore Owings, is a halo suspended between two new office buildings that would move up and down. It would give visitors a view of the city from different heights, similar to the London Eye.

The firm says it has consulted with engineers and the proposal is technically feasible, but the bigger challenge would be to ensure that the government and owners of potential new office towers could work together. "That's kind of radical. Currently there's a divide between the public and private," Mr. Duffy said.

The firm of WXY Architecture created a design for an elevated pedestrian walkway on the current Park Avenue Viaduct with a glass bottom and seasonal plantings similar to the High Line. "Our strategy was the dream of the near-future being a lot better," said Claire Weisz, a founding partner at WXY.

Foster + Partners, which designed the Hearst Tower near Columbus Circle, stuck to more incremental changes, such as creating a pedestrian plaza on Vanderbilt Avenue, increasing the heights of the pedestrian tunnels and creating more open, visible entrances to the terminal. "It's one of the most wonderful civic spaces anywhere in the world," said Brandon Haw, a senior partner. "Nonetheless, it is very difficult to navigate."











All images: http://mas.org/next-100-proposed-vis...aces-oct-2012/

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Old November 10th, 2012, 12:33 AM   #4
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Another vision for a much taller Midtown:

image hosted on flickr

Midtown Megatall Study by GaborCs, on Flickr
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Old November 10th, 2012, 07:25 PM   #5
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the halo is an amazing idea.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 03:44 AM   #6
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Lets hope they don't build that....it will just ruin grand central!!!!!
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Old November 11th, 2012, 07:47 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by New Jack City View Post
the halo is an amazing idea.
It's you!
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Old December 12th, 2012, 10:29 PM   #8
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Alarm among preservationists

Midtown East rezoning could place historic properties in jeopardy



francu.com

Quote:
Preservationists and three Manhattan community boards are warning that Mayor Bloomberg’s massive Midtown East rezoning plan would harm the properties that are most representative of the neighborhood’s historic character, the New York Times reported.

The Municipal Arts Society and the New York Landmarks Conservancy identified some 12 buildings — including the Yale Club, the Barclay Hotel and the Graybar Building — that were most likely to be demolished if the rezoning passes. “What one would not want to have happen is for the district to become solely a place about Class A office space,” the Society’s President Vin Cipolla told the Times.
The rezoning proposal would increase maximum allowable building density for some large sites around Grand Central by 60 percent; in addition, an 11-block stretch of Park Avenue would have density increased by 44 percent. The proposal is not yet under formal review.

Community board 4, 5 and 6 have brought up an additional question of what would happen to other preeminent city properties: “Does the Chrysler or Empire State Building deserve any special protections?”
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Old December 20th, 2012, 01:45 PM   #9
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It is unimaginable!
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 11:41 PM   #10
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Nice ideas.
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Old December 24th, 2012, 06:13 AM   #11
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The crazy thing is that a number of the potential sites already have fairly large buildings on them, not just 2-3 story buildings. NYC is such an odd place where one could look at a 25 story building and think they could just tear it down to build a 75 story building in its place.
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Old February 3rd, 2013, 08:27 AM   #12
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Developers, unions band together for greater Midtown East development

Quote:
A group of developers has formed an unlikely alliance with labor and construction unions in an effort to expand the Bloomberg Administration’s proposed rules for allowing taller structures in Midtown East, the New York Times reported. More specifically, they want more skyscraper properties developed on a greater number of sites at a faster pace and with lower cost. Members of the group include Real Estate Board of New York officials, the New York Building Congress, the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, Local 32BJ Service Employees International Union and the Building and Construction Trades Council of New York.
The battle has been joined!
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Old February 3rd, 2013, 10:11 AM   #13
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When NIMBYs Attack

Historic Districts Council to name 33 buildings that need protection in Midtown East



Quote:
The Historic Districts Council will reveal today a list of 33 buildings in Midtown East that it believes should be protected in the wake of the city’s rezoning proposal for the area, Crain’s reported.

The final list of 33 — whittled down from an initial 78 — includes 20 commercial buildings, six hotels, four institutional buildings and three residential buildings. These include the Yale Club on Vanderbilt Avenue, the Minnie Young residence on East 54th Street and the former Union Carbide building at 270 Park Avenue.

The buildings were chosen based on what they contributed to the architectural makeup of the city. Another criterion was buildings that would be considered underbuilt, or ripe for development, were the Midtown East proposal — which is expected to be the catalyst for bigger and taller buildings in the area — to pass. “In that instance there is a much higher level of threat to the continued existence of the building,” Simeon Bankoff, executive director of the Historic Districts Council, told Crain’s. He added that if these buildings were landmarked, they could still sell air rights to neighboring developers.

But REBNY president Steven Spinola told Crain’s that the current restrictions on air rights sales, which require them to be sold only to adjacent properties or in the case of landmarks to those across the street, would limit the landmark buildings’ options. “There may be some that are worthy of designation,” Spinola said. “But it’s funny that a lot of these sites also happen to correspond to the sites that could take advantage of the rezoning and create wonderful new office towers.”
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Old March 1st, 2013, 06:40 PM   #14
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City unveils details of Midtown East rezoning




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The city is moving forward with its proposal to rezone Midtown East, and will kickstart the official six-month public review process in early April, Crain’s reported.

At a presentation Thursday to a community board task force examining the rezoning proposal, the Department of City Planning revealed that the city would sell air rights for $250 per square foot within the rezoned area, and identified 32 buildings — including the Yale Club, the Roosevelt Hotel and the MetLife tower — as “potential” landmarks that would be protected from the upzoning.

“In terms of timing, it’s important we get this going this year so we can get this development going this decade,” Edith Hsu-Chen, director of the planning department’s Manhattan office, said after the presentation. “This is the window for this plan to work.”

The proceeds from the air rights would go into a public works-funding mechanism known as the District Improvement Bonus, or DIB. Any project that paid into the DIB, the city stressed, could only contain commercial development, since the goal of the rezoning is to revitalize the business district.

But there are concerns that the rate the city has set on air rights would leave property owners looking to sell their air rights high and dry.

“I want certainty we get the best value for the money and I’m not convinced we get that here,” Raju Mann, the transportation chair of Community Board 5 and a former city planner, told Crain’s.

The city will hold another presentation to clarify details of the rezoning plan in March. But for the most part, the rezoning structure is in place, Frank Ruchala, the city planner overseeing the Midtown East rezoning, told Crain’s.
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Old March 1st, 2013, 06:54 PM   #15
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Another vision for a much taller Midtown:

Midtown Megatall Study by GaborCs, on Flickr
I'm a big preservationist, but I'd say a tower like that is worth losing... a Metropolitan Club.
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 07:09 PM   #16
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I'd lose a block on 6th Ave in the 20s-30s to build a truly tall building that would rival the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Build it an even 3,000 feet. With a one block base, it could be done!
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Old March 4th, 2013, 02:39 AM   #17
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I'd lose a block on 6th Ave in the 20s-30s to build a truly tall building that would rival the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Build it an even 3,000 feet. With a one block base, it could be done!
Just gotta get that pesky public nuissance called the FAA out of the way...
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Old March 4th, 2013, 09:01 PM   #18
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Just gotta get that pesky public nuissance called the FAA out of the way...
Stick a beacon on the top and the planes will be fine
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Old March 5th, 2013, 04:49 AM   #19
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To be realistic I don't envision a lot of interesting things out of this. NYC is very difficult place to build big. community boards will have their day torturing everyone over a 30 ft more or less. Unions will ask the price which will be ridiculously high. I also don't want to see Roosevelt hotel to be torn down over some glass box. so I am very skeptical about all this. It is easier to build somewhere else. NYC has a very good property market - but it also has a mega shenanigan equal to none in terms of getting things started. Especially if they are big and ambitious. Besides developers these days, for the lack of a better word, are cheapskates.
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Old March 6th, 2013, 02:41 AM   #20
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To be realistic I don't envision a lot of interesting things out of this. NYC is very difficult place to build big. community boards will have their day torturing everyone over a 30 ft more or less...
These buildings will be as of right.

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Unions will ask the price which will be ridiculously high...
Developers, unions band together for greater Midtown East development

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I also don't want to see Roosevelt hotel to be torn down over some glass box. so I am very skeptical about all this. It is easier to build somewhere else. NYC has a very good property market - but it also has a mega shenanigan equal to none in terms of getting things started. Especially if they are big and ambitious. Besides developers these days, for the lack of a better word, are cheapskates.
They're still working out on what exactly will be landmarked, so no need to fret about a particular building getting demoed.

Companies want to be close to GCT and Penn's access to regional mass transit. Sure it's easier to build elsewhere, but there's a reason why Midtown Manhattan is the largest business on earth, and for the city to continue to prosper it needs to keep it that way.
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