East Midtown Rezoning Plan Withdrawn by Bloomberg Administration

Land Use

 

The Bloomberg Administration is withdrawing the proposed East Midtown Rezoning due to a lack of support at the NYC Council.  This was one of the Mayor’s last major initiatives before leaving office.   The rezoning was intended to stimulate the construction of a new generation of bigger, state-of-the-art skyscrapers, while at the same time raising hundreds of millions of dollars for transit improvements in the area.

Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Councilman Dan Garodnick, who represent the districts directly impacted by the rezoning, would not support the rezoning plan, although they did recognize the importance of rezoning Midtown.  In a joint statement, they both stated that “After extensive negotiations, we have been unable to reach agreement on a number of issues in the proposed plan.”  Council Speaker Quinn and Councilman Garodnick also indicated that they remain concerned with the price, methodology and timing of the air rights to be sold by the City and are also concerned with the certainty and funding level of the needed infrastructure improvements, which includes both above and below grade needs.  They also stated that the public realm plan is aspirational, and that it was still unclear whether some of its most visionary improvements can actually be executed.

The Council’s land use committee was set to vote to reject the plan on Wednesday, November 13, 2013, with a full Council vote to follow on Thursday, November 14, 2013.

Mayor Bloomberg released a statement: “Due to a lack of City Council support, we are withdrawing the application for the rezoning of East Midtown. 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.”   He further stated that “The inability to reach a consensus on the plan’s details is regrettable, but it was encouraging that nearly everyone involved in the process recognized the need for the area to be rezoned to ensure that it remains competitive with other business districts around the world, and we appreciate the time that Speaker Quinn, Council Member Garodnick, and Council staff put into this issue. We are glad to at least be leaving the next administration a blueprint for future action.”

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