A Better Path for East Midtown

Early in January 2017 the City of New York began the official public approval process for a proposal to rezone East Midtown Manhattan. The proposal was based in part on a report by the East Midtown Steering Committee co-chaired by the Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and the District 4 Council Member Daniel Garodnick.

The new 2017 proposal is the third proposal for rezoning East Midtown. In 2013 the Bloomberg Administration proposed to rezone East … <Read More>

Development of Willets Point Blocked on Appeal

Appellate panel found the authorization for private construction on parkland did not extend to a shopping mall.  On October 9, 2013, the City Council approved Queens Development Group’s planned 10-story, 200-room hotel and 30,000-square foot mall complex on the Willets Point West site, formerly the location of Shea Stadium.  The site was once the north end of Flushing Meadows Park until the state legislature authorized the stadium’s construction in 1961.  The development would anchor further … <Read More>

East Midtown Rezoning: Looking For Extra Zoning Rights? They’re For Sale

A disarmingly simple plan for rezoning Manhattan’s office district running from Grand Central Terminal north to about 58th Street has been approved by the Planning Commission and will come to a Council vote around the time of the November election.

It has three key components:  1) The City almost doubles the allowable floor area for new buildings on large sites along the major thoroughfares; 2) it sells to the landowner the right to build the … <Read More>

Court Dismisses Action Against Willets Point Developers

Public trust doctrine did not apply to Willets Point West development project.  On August 15, 2014, the New York Supreme Court in Manhattan denied petitions for declarative and injunctive relief against the Willets Point Development Project in Queens.  The petitions were brought by a coalition led by New York State Senator Tony Avella, The City Club of New York, and New York City Park Advocates.  The petitioners argued that constructing a shopping … <Read More>

Renovation of Fifth Avenue landmark blocked

Preliminary injunction issued after preservationists claim renovations exceeded proposal approved by Landmarks. In April 2011, Landmarks approved Vornado Realty Trust’s proposal to renovate the Manufacturers Trust Company Building at 510 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Landmarks designated the Skidmore, Owens & Merrill-designed, glass and metal building as an individual City landmark in 1997. In February 2011, Landmarks designated the building’s first two floors as an interior landmark.

Shortly after the interior landmarking, Vornado proposed … <Read More>

DOB exemption calculation method upheld

Buildings applied customary “square” method of measuring 100 ft. rear yard exemption. The Allen- Stevenson School, located at 128 East 78th Street in a C1-8X district, applied to Buildings for a permit to expand a two-story structure to five-stories and eliminate a courtyard at the rear of the lot. Buildings issued permits for the alterations, and Neighbors for Light and Air, a local community group, sought to have them revoked, claiming that zoning regulations required … <Read More>