City Elaborates on Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Midtown Knock 'Em Down Plan
Yesterday, the Voice wrote on reports that Mayor Mike wants to speed up rezoning schemes near Grand Central Terminal, so that out-of-date, short buildings can be replaced with modern towers.
The Mayor's idea would run from East 39th Street to East 59th Street, between Third and Fifth Avenues -- and could increase building size by 20 to 30 percent.
A Department of City Planning spokeswoman did confirm to reporters yesterday that the City is considering a proposal, but officials hadn't said too much about the recently surfaced reports -- which were mainly sourced with anonymous insiders.
Now, though, Planning has opened up a bit -- though very slightly -- about construction changes.
A Planning spokeswoman told the Voice via e-mail:
"In keeping with our efforts to protect the city's long term economic future, DCP is undertaking a study of East Midtown with the goal of securing its stature as the world's premier office district. We are examining various zoning tools to achieve multiple goals such as building on the area's transit infrastructure and complementing the built context. We anticipate making recommendations by the summer and fostering a dialogue on this critical study."
So yes, here is what we know so far: a study is taking place and the forthcoming report might nclude recs on transportation.
The spokeswoman also stressed a couple of things.
This survey officially comes from DCP, not Bloomberg -- though we want to point out that he seems to be behind this push, and has long been pro-development.
She also emphasized that the Department is "still in the study phrase" -- so far, there have not been any proposed zoning changes.
Worth noting: during his tenure as Mayor, Bloomberg has been a booster of commercial rezoning projects in Downtown Brooklyn,125th Street, Jamaica, the Hudson Yards, and elsewhere in the city.
Follow Victoria Bekiempis @vicbekiempis.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.