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Old Posted Jun 27, 2012, 9:50 PM
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Quote from a 4-page article on the rezoning...


http://observer.com/2012/06/faulty-t...-get-it-right/

Faulty Towers: Midtown Needs a Makeover, with Twice as Tall Towers,
But Can Mayor Bloomberg Get It Right?



Midtown, 2025? (Photo composite: Ed Johnson/NYO; Photos: Getty)



It all starts with Grand Central. (Getty)


By Matt Chaban
6/27/12

Quote:
It was but one line in Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s State of the City address in January, but it could prove to be one of the biggest of his dozen years in office. “In the area around Grand Central, we’ll work with the City Council on a package of regulatory changes and incentives that will attract new investment, new companies and new jobs,” the mayor said from the stage inside Morris High School in the Bronx.......Now, it is time to remake the middle of Manhattan, to redevelop one of the most developed swathes of land in the world.

.....there is a special focus on the blocks around the train station, as well as along Park Avenue, seen as especially valuable as well as especially outdated. An initial proposal is to be released on July 11, and the city hopes to begin the arduous public review process by the first quarter of next year—just before the notorious countdown clock at City Hall blinks off.

.......some traditional Midtown heavyweights, like SL Green, have felt neglected amidst the city’s westward expansion. Earlier this month, The Journal revealed that the city’s largest commercial landlord had teamed up with Hines, another player who has mostly developed along Third and Lex, to replace a clutch of turn-of-the-century buildings immediately west of Grand Central, on 42nd Street between Madison and Vanderbuilt avenues. The city freely admits that it is working with local stakeholders to craft its plan but denies that they are the ones sketching it out.

.......According to city planning sources, the proposal could get downsized to include only the immediate blocks surrounding Grand Central. There are almost 2 million square feet in development rights that once belonged to the Penn Central Railroad, currently owned by a little-known firm called Argent Ventures. The city would add to that pot by a few million square feet, selling off the extra air rights, which would go to fund improvements to the surrounding streets and the spaces within Grand Central, particularly the local, and long-neglected, subway stations. This would benefit but a few developers owning surrounding properties. City Hall denied it has shrunk its scheme, but also admitted that it has yet to finalize the boundaries.
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