Solow’s Con Ed-site plan starts public review

Proposal covers one of the largest development sites in Manhattan. On August 20, 2007, the Planning Commission launched public consideration of the 17 linked applications of developer Solow Properties for sites along Manhattan’s East Side. Solow’s plan will now go to Manhattan Community Board 6 for a public hearing and vote.

Solow proposes to rezone the former Con Edison site, which runs along First Avenue from East 38th to East 41st Streets, to develop six buildings including a 69-story residential tower at 685 First Avenue and three primarily residential buildings of 57 to 66 stories at 700 First Avenue. A 45-story commercial building with 1.3 million sq.ft. of office space would occupy the remainder of the site at 708 First Avenue. Overall, the development would create 3,343 new apartments and 59,140 sq.ft. of retail space. Con Ed will maintain its existing substation on a portion of the site at 685 First Avenue.

Solow also proposes to rezone the full city block at 616 First Avenue, between East 35th and East 36th Streets and the FDR Drive, from manufacturing to commercial zoning. The development plan for the site includes two mixed-use buildings of 37 and 47 stories with up to 830 apartments.

Along with the rezoning applications, the plan requires amendments to the zoning text, special permits for parking garages and a residential plaza, and certifications for the proposed retail and curb cuts.

Board 6 has scheduled its hearing for September 20, 2007 and has until October 19th to vote. The board has a competing 197-a plan for the former Con Ed site, which the Planning Commission is holding for a final vote until Solow’s plan reaches the Commission.

CPC: East River Realty Company and First Avenue Properties Development, Application Nos. 070529 – 070538 (685 First Avenue); 070522-070528 (616 First Avenue) (Aug. 20, 2007) (Kramer Levin, for Solow).

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