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Midtown East rezoning a step closer with new committee

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Council Member Daniel Garodnick announced the formation of the East Midtown Steering Committee to “study and identify the area’s needs and to develop a framework for the rezoning.” The group will help define future policy changes and make recommendations to the City Planning Commission.

Dan Garodnick
Dan Garodnick

The new committee is part of a slowed down, step-by-step approach to Midtown East rezoning adopted after Michael Bloomberg’s original rezoning plan failed to get sufficient support in the City Council last year. Instead of rezoning Midtown East in one go, as Bloomberg had planned, the area will likely be rezoned in a more piecemeal fashion.

The first area to be rezoned is Vanderbilt Avenue between 42nd and 47th Streets, which will pave the way for SL Green’s planned office tower One Vanderbilt.

“I am pleased to be co-chairing this steering committee with Councilmember Garodnick in response to the process outlined by Mayor de Blasio,” said Brewer. “The steering committee’s community-based planning process will be thorough and involve all stakeholders in as open and transparent a process as possible.”

“East Midtown needs an upgrade, and we now have a chance to do it right,” said Garodnick. “This steering committee will help us make sure that decisions are made in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders.”

“The East Midtown Steering Committee, under the leadership of Borough President Brewer and Council Member Dan Garodnick, will bring together key stakeholders to advance a critical conversation on the future of East Midtown, ensuring that the multiple interests of this complex community are included in the formation of recommendations for zoning and other actions, including coordinating new development with appropriate infrastructure and city services,” said City Planning Chairman Carl Weisbrod.  “I congratulate the Borough President and Council Member for their leadership and look forward to providing the support of the Department of City Planning.”

With the help of a facilitator hired for the purpose, the steering committee will begin meeting in September and hold meetings twice a month with the goal of delivering a final set of recommendations to the Department of City Planning by Spring 2015.

The committee will review a wide range of topics, including the need for updated commercial building stock in East Midtown, the appropriate density for the area, historic preservation, transit and other infrastructure priorities, and environmental concerns.

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