Last week, at a meeting of Community Board 5, City Planning finally released details of a much anticipated zoning proposal for East Midtown. The proposal, which could be the last major rezoning initiative of the Bloomberg administration, concentrates on the blocks around and north of Grand Central (the boundaries stretch roughly from Fifth Avenue to Second Avenue and from 39th to 57th Streets), which are already home to a number of high density office buildings.
The rezoning looks to incentivize property owners and developers to upgrade the area’s office building stock by permitting new development at a significantly higher density than is currently allowed. The new regulations may also incorporate a “district improvement fund” type program, similar to what already exists in Hudson Yards. As part of this program, developers could contribute to a fund, intended to finance the construction of a pedestrian plaza on what is now Vanderbilt Avenue, in exchange for even more floor area. Under today’s zoning, a limited number of property owners are permitted to purchase excess development rights from Grand Central, and that program might also be expanded under the new proposal. (more…)
As was reported in Crain’s, on Wednesday the City Council approved two new rezonings in Manhattan – one in the West Village, and the other in the East. Both rezonings are contextual, putting height limits in place in areas where none existed previously. (more…)
Almost 10 years ago, I was honored to be retained by Manhattan Community Board 11 and Civitas (a local community advocacy group dedicated to improving neighborhood quality of life) to study East Harlem and work with CB11. The result was the first neighborhood-wide rezoning action of the Bloomberg Administration, rezoning more than 50% of East Harlem. (more…)
An article from this week’s New York Observer discusses limitations on hotels proposed for Tribeca. Generally, hotels, considered a “commercial” use under the zoning resolution, are permitted in New York City in all commercial zoning districts (which also permit residential uses) and some manufacturing zoning districts (which do not permit residential uses) with no limitations. The proposal, which is part of a general overhaul of the zoning in northern Tribeca, would limit hotels permitted as-of-right in the area to those with 100 rooms or less. This is worth taking a closer look at, since it’s the first time in recent history that the City has proposed restrictions on hotels in a commercial area. (more…)
Last week, the New York City Council’s land use committee unanimously approved CPC Resource’s application for the New Domino development. As we discussed back in January (when the project was certified), the approval will permit the development of 2,200 units on the Brooklyn waterfront, along with community facility, office and retail space. The project also includes 660 units of affordable housing, over 4 acres of publicly accessible open space, including a waterfront esplanade and a 1-acre lawn, and the preservation of the landmark Refinery building. (more…)
This week, the New York Supreme Court decided in favor of the City in an “adult use” zoning case (For the People Theatres of NY Inc. v City of New York), drawing yet another chapter to a close in the ongoing saga of adult establishments vs. the City of New York. As a result of this decision, which places substantial additional limits on the location of adult uses, a number of adult book and video stores that have been operating as “60/40″ establishments – businesses where only 40% or less of the floor area is occupied by adult uses — will likely have to close or move elsewhere. The case, which dates to 2002 (and was remanded from the Court of Appeals), was in response to a 2001 amendment to the Zoning Resolution expanding the definition of “adult establishment.” However, the controversy over the regulation of adult establishments in the Zoning Resolution dates back to at least 1995, when the ZR was originally amended to classify adult establishments as different from other commercial uses. (more…)
The City’s industrial zoning districts are increasingly being lost. So-called “M-zones” (M1, M2 and M3 zoning districts) – where everything from Glue to Auto Manufacturing are permitted – have been modified or eliminated in such diverse places as Chelsea, Williamsburg-Greenpoint, the southwest Bronx, Long Island City and DUMBO. Over the past 10 years or so, new “mixed use districts” have emerged in waterfront sections of Brooklyn and the Bronx – and inland areas such as Hudson Square, Bed-Stuy, Gowanus and Long Island City. (These join the already established mixed-use zones in DUMBO and Hunt’s Point.) Now – and here’s the real news – M-zoned areas of Hudson Square are under consideration for rezoning. (more…)
Yesterday, the City Planning Commission certified the application for the New Domino project. The project, when approved, will permit the redevelopment of the formerly-industrial Domino Sugar factory site on the Brooklyn waterfront as a vibrant, mixed-use development.
In a blog entry yesterday, we discussed a major Bloomberg Administration initiative that is in limbo – the rezoning and subsequent development of the Gowanus Canal neighborhood.
Well, today we can report on another major Bloomberg initiative – the redevelopment of Coney Island. This one, however, is faring much better. (more…)
There is a new twist in the ongoing saga of whether to list the Gowanus Canal on the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Priorities List – a/k/a Superfund. The City will be potentially liable for a portion of the clean up costs.
For those not entirely familiar with the recent history of the proposed redevelopment and proposed clean up, here is a quick recap: (more…)