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  #1  
Old Posted Jan 14, 2012, 8:40 PM
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NEW YORK | City plans BIG rezoning of Midtown

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...028027142.html

Big Midtown Rezoning Eyed
Skyline Could Change Under Plan Being Mulled to Spur Investment Around Grand Central Terminal.


By ELIOT BROWN
Jan 14, 2012

Quote:

New York City officials are weighing an ambitious plan aimed at remaking a large swath of the Midtown skyline by encouraging building owners to demolish aging structures and replace them with new office towers, according to people familiar with the matter.

The plan, still being hashed out internally, would likely involve a major rezoning of arteries such as Park and Madison avenues, the people said. The new regulations would allow owners to erect larger, modern towers in what officials hope would be an incentive to knock down buildings that no longer draw A-list tenants.

...Privately, city officials have said they expect to complete a study of eastern Midtown—running between about East 40th and 57th streets and Fifth and Third avenues—by the spring, according to people briefed on the plan. Should the city go ahead with the concept, officials intend to bring it before the City Council for approval before the end of Mr. Bloomberg's term next year.

The effort, being directed by Deputy Mayor Robert Steel, comes as the Bloomberg administration is concerned about the city's aging stock of office buildings. Rising costs and a scarcity of development sites have limited construction since the 1980s.

According to real estate brokerage CBRE Group Inc., 71% of large office buildings in Manhattan are more than 50 years old. And developers claim that's made it hard to attract companies that want modern touches such as higher ceilings, more natural light and more efficient energy use.

City officials and real estate executives have worried for years that other major urban centers—including London and Singapore—could vault ahead in their office offerings.

The concept was born out of a pitch made to the city in mid-2011 by the Real Estate Board of New York, which argued for a more limited rezoning plan that wouldn't have added additional office space.

City officials came back showing interest in a more elaborate version that could build up the area, people familiar with the matter said.

Since then, the real-estate board, which represents developers and other real estate executives, has pushed the plan behind the scenes, pointing out that the area north of Grand Central is particularly concentrated with older buildings.

Steven Roth, chairman of developer Vornado Realty Trust, has called for the city to dramatically increase the size of buildings allowed on Park Avenue.

...if the plan goes ahead, it would mark the third modern office district the city is fostering at the same time. The city already has directed billions of dollars of investment in building up two other parts of Manhattan—the area around the World Trade Center site and the far West Side of Manhattan—which could potentially compete for the same tenants. Real-estate executives respond by saying that a rezoned Midtown would likely develop gradually, and wouldn't be a significant competitor to those other districts.
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“Office buildings are our factories – whether for tech, creative or traditional industries we must continue to grow our modern factories to create new jobs,” said United States Senator Chuck Schumer.
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Old Posted Jan 14, 2012, 8:57 PM
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This is the area that has been the backbone of the Midtown office market for years...


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“Office buildings are our factories – whether for tech, creative or traditional industries we must continue to grow our modern factories to create new jobs,” said United States Senator Chuck Schumer.
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Old Posted Jan 14, 2012, 11:39 PM
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http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article...TATE/120119936

City to ponder shot in arm for midtown east
The area that boasts 13 Fortune 500 companies, 250,000 jobs and 70 million square feet of office space
is also home to a lot of old buildings. The Department of City Planning will examine its market.


By Amanda Fung
January 13, 2012


Quote:
New York's Department of City Planning said Thursday it plans to embark on a new study that will examine commercial office market in midtown east, and whether it needs to be reinvigorated. The question is vitally important given the neighborhood's status as New York City's premiere commercial district. It is home to a quarter of a million jobs, no less than 13 Fortune 500 companies, and more than 70 million square feet of office space, according to the city.

Few new office buildings have been built over the last decade in midtown east, and some observers are concerned that existing regulations may be holding landlords back from making new investments in the area. Increasingly out-moded office space could cost the area its edge with tenants, especially the growing number of tech-driven outfits.
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Old Posted Jan 15, 2012, 12:09 AM
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So I guess 285 Madison Ave could be gone soon. There are already plans to tear it down, it's the same building that the lady got crushed by the elevator in. The building is also in the rezoning area.
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  #5  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2012, 12:45 AM
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Well, the best buildings there are all landmarked,so there not much we should worry about.
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Old Posted Jan 15, 2012, 1:16 AM
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They should allow 30-40 million SF of new development, but auction off the air rights to help pay for the Second Avenue Subway extension (originally proposed to go all the way downtown; that needs to happen!). That would seem to be the best way of forcing developers to bear some of the infrastructure costs of new development...

Besides the above, it would be great to see several 1,000'+ office towers rise in Midtown East. Would definitely help balance the skyline, as Midtown West is going to be simply massive come 2020.
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Old Posted Jan 15, 2012, 1:30 AM
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Just so long as they keep the beauties of the 1920s-1940s
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Old Posted Jan 15, 2012, 1:46 AM
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Great plan! The city must preserve its past but not at the expense of its future.
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Old Posted Jan 15, 2012, 1:49 AM
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I wish Philadelphian's could understand what you just said...
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  #10  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2012, 1:55 AM
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I'm a bit uneasy about the wording, especially the call to make it easier for developers to tear down less desirable buildings. Hopefully this results in a careful analysis of each building's historic worth and a full-fledged effort to maintain that area's atmosphere, instead of "Let's knock down half the neighborhood and build more thousand foot icicles! We gotta keep up with Dubai and Shanghai!"
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  #11  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2012, 2:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dralcoffin View Post
I'm a bit uneasy about the wording, especially the call to make it easier for developers to tear down less desirable buildings. Hopefully this results in a careful analysis of each building's historic worth and a full-fledged effort to maintain that area's atmosphere, instead of "Let's knock down half the neighborhood and build more thousand foot icicles! We gotta keep up with Dubai and Shanghai!"
The buildings worth keeping are landmarked, and aren't going anywhere.

It's good to see the city focusing on this now as opposed to in say 10-15 years when the Hudson Yards and WTC are built out, and there are basically no areas left for large scale construction and this becomes a severe hinderance to the continued economic development of New York. I've interned and interviewed at some brand name companies in that area, and it is unbelievable how old the buildings they occupy are.

Anyway, looks like the next office building boom will be on the far east, after this one on the far west side is done.
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Old Posted Jan 15, 2012, 3:56 AM
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Originally Posted by summersm343 View Post
I wish Philadelphian's could understand what you just said...
Are you implying that Philly takes historical preservation to an extreme? If so, I would vehemently disagree with you.
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  #13  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2012, 6:40 PM
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I believe other than the current 432 Park Ave and the OLD Metlife North (WTB) the tallest building ever proposed for the East Side was the Travelstead Building. But the tallest building on the East Side is still the old Chrysler. Just goes to slow the lack of development (not saying there isn't any {there's alot}) on the East Side. The West Side however has a bigger ratio of taller buildings.
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Old Posted Jan 15, 2012, 7:18 PM
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I would like to see modern versions of those projects being done here. We are witnessing a major transformation of the Big Apple, one that will continue to make it one of the best cities in the world.
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  #15  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2012, 7:38 PM
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This is bad news. Beautiful per-war towers will be razed.
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  #16  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2012, 7:57 PM
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Originally Posted by RobertWalpole View Post
This is bad news. Beautiful pre-war towers will be razed.
Bad news ? It would be a disaster!

To Build new towers on railroads or warehouses is great, but to demolish pre-war towers to build new ones is simply outrageous. They should do the same as we do in Paris, you keep the wall and you change everything inside. I know it's easier to do with a 7 floors building than with a 50 floors tower, but hey, we have already walked on the moon. If they want to destroy towers from the sixties that's fine but I hope pre-war towers will be classified as historic monuments before it's too late. They are NYC's architectural treasures.

I wrote in a previous post that NYC is always looking forward to build its future which is really great, but it should never be at the expense of its glorious past.
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Old Posted Jan 15, 2012, 8:36 PM
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This is great news, IMO. It's inevitable anyways.
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Old Posted Jan 15, 2012, 9:25 PM
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I tend to agree with Rob and FMIII that should this rezoning be carried out , it should be done with great care to avoid destroying too many prewar towers.

I would rather see parts of Manhattan further north, say the 125th street corridor massively upzoned, with appropriate transit improvements. Don't know if the MTA would be able to afford a new subway line along 125th though.

Extra long term, I'd like to see a new rail station on the caliber of Grand Central or Penn built in the northern part of the island to anchor a new business district. Maybe at the railyards at 10th ave and 207th?, with a complimentary subway line or two into the Bronx. Now I'm just dreaming...
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Old Posted Jan 15, 2012, 9:34 PM
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I'm definitely with you, scal--I've mentioned it before but I think that turning 125th into the new 34th wuld be fantastic. It's a main arterial yet most of the buildings along it are only 3-4 stories or derelict (many both!). If they put a new cross-towne up there it would do wonders, combined with an upzoning...
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  #20  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2012, 9:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scalziand View Post
I tend to agree with Rob and FMIII that should this rezoning be carried out , it should be done with great care to avoid destroying too many prewar towers.

I would rather see parts of Manhattan further north, say the 125th street corridor massively upzoned, with appropriate transit improvements. Don't know if the MTA would be able to afford a new subway line along 125th though.

Extra long term, I'd like to see a new rail station on the caliber of Grand Central or Penn built in the northern part of the island to anchor a new business district. Maybe at the railyards at 10th ave and 207th?, with a complimentary subway line or two into the Bronx. Now I'm just dreaming...
Along with your extra long term, perhaps we can get some heavy rail access to LGA.
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