The rezoning of Midtown East is vital to the continued success of New York City as a world capital, according to the city’s Planning Commissioner.
Veteran real estate executive Carl Weisbrod discussed the past, present and future of the business during an address before REBNY members.
Speaking at the annual Real Estate Board of New York Commercial Holiday Luncheon, the director of the New York City Department of City Planning, who has dedicated himself to serving the people of New York for more than 35 years, said the city is thriving in virtually every way possible.
“When I first started out, we were all concerned with New York shrinking, and I’m pleased to stand here and be able to tell you that many of the challenges we face today are not challenges of shrinkage, but of growth,” Weisbrod said.
“In terms of real estate — commercial real estate in particular — the economy is continuing to do well. When I got here, I talked to many friends I haven’t seen or heard from in years, and not one of them told me that business is not good.”
In addition to citing facts and figures that reflected growing industries and rapidly-decreasing unemployment rates, Weisbrod also gave his own insights into what the city needs to do in the future in order to maintain this prosperity as well as improve on it.
“The City has stepped up to offer subsidies and to create and preserve affordable housing, but overall, the city needs to become denser,” Weisbrod said.
“The homeless problem — especially the population of homeless children — is unacceptable for a city like New York, and we have to help. Even people who have housing are spending more than a third of their income on housing.”
Weisbrod also touched on Midtown East, saying rezoning was vital for revitalization.
“It is the engine of our economy, and the office stock is too old to support that,ˮ Weisbrod told the packed luncheon.
“Transportation is the first step to handling increased density, and 1 Vanderbilt will play a big part in improving Grand Central Terminal and increasing platform capacity.”