New Reports Stake out Ground in NYC Rezoning Debate

Two position papers out this week present the opposing viewpoints in the contentious debate around New York's Midtown East rezoning. Should historic building protections in the area be expanded or should developers be allowed to maximize density?

As New York seeks to move along the proposed rezoning of dozens of blocks in close proximity to Grand Central Terminal before the end of the Bloomberg Administration, preservation and development advocates are staking out their positions on whether additional buildings in the area deserve landmark status.

According to David W. Dunlap, "Two position papers released Wednesday answered the question quite differently."

"In 'Icons, Placeholders and Leftovers: Midtown East Report' (PDF), the Real Estate Board of New York and its allies in the Midtown21C coalition concluded, 'The critical landmarks have been designated.' They rejected every building identified by preservation groups as being worthy of landmark consideration."

"At the same time, in the other position paper, 'East Midtown: A Bold Vision for the Future' (PDF), the Municipal Art Society of New York said that in the area to be rezoned, only 32 of 587 buildings were now landmarks, and that 17 other buildings were prime candidates for landmark status," notes Dunlap.

“Today’s businesses want talent,” the art society said in its report, “and increasingly, talent gravitates toward neighborhoods that are real places — with walkable streets, unique architecture, great restaurants and other opportunities for socializing and amusement.”

Full Story: 2 Views of Buildings Around Grand Central: Special or Just Old

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