On August 8, the City Council passed the Midtown East Rezoning intended to promote commercial development in the 78-block area stretching north-south from 57th to 39th streets and east-west from Third to Madison avenues. Councilman Dan Garodnick was the main sponsor of the bill.
Midtown East is critical to the city’s economy. It produces 10 percent of its real estate taxes and hosts a weekday workforce of 250,000. A zoning update is seen as vital for the future. Locally, the area needs to keep up with development on the far west and lower end of Manhattan. Globally, the city seeks to maintain its place among essential world business locations.
To achieve this, new office buildings, designed for the digital age, are needed to replace and complement old buildings. The city hopes that the new zoning will help add 6.5 million square feet of office space to the existing 60 million in the area. This will also call for modernizing the Lexington Avenue subway’s overburdened and aging infrastructure. Under the new zoning, developers will be required to pay upfront to improve subway entrances and create wider stairways.
Based on and copied, in part, from “The Future Is Looking Up for East Midtown”, Editorial Board, The New York Times, August 8, 2017, and “New York City Council Approves Rezoning Plan for Midtown Manhattan”, by Patrick McGeehan, August 9, 2017, The New York Times.