This afternoon, SL Green’s One Vanderbilt tower received the ultimate green light from the New York City Council, as members voted unanimously in favor of both the construction of the new 1,501-foot tall office building and the rezoning of a five-block stretch of Vanderbilt Avenue (the Vanderbilt Corridor) that would bring with it significant infrastructural upgrades to the area’s public transportation. The vote was the last hurdle for the development and is a critical step in the rezoning of a greater area of Midtown East.
“It is time to unlock the economic development potential in East Midtown,” Council Member Daniel R. Garodnick said in a press statement. “The area has gotten stuck in outdated rules, and has lost some of its competitiveness over time. That is going to change today, starting with the Vanderbilt Corridor—where we will open the door to additional density in exchange for much needed improvements to our transit system. We have struck a much better deal for the public, and we will start seeing real benefits to Grand Central in the near term, even before a single new building is occupied.”
The changes slated for delivery alongside One Vanderbilt include revamping access and circulation inside and around Grand Central Terminal, and the potential for landmarks to transfer their air rights to developers looking to build in the area. However, throughout the approval process, most eyes have been squarely focused on the promised public upgrades, which include a $220 million injection for the improvement of Grand Central’s subway station. Several new subway access points and a three-story public transit entrance built at the base of the tower to ease over-crowding on the 4/5/6 lines are planned, while other public perks recently negotiated between SL Green and the city include a public plaza, and benches and public restrooms in the transit hall.
One Vanderbilt is projected to create 5,200 construction jobs, 190 permanent union jobs, and double the number of workers employed on the block.
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Neighborhoods : Midtown East