ULURP

New Developments, Policy

Photo by Nicolas J Leclercq on Unsplash

All city land use and rezoning processes have been temporarily suspended as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday. In an executive order, the mayor directed procedures “applicable to the city planning and land use processes” to freeze for the duration of New York’s state of emergency.

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Chinatown, Lower East Side, New Developments, Policy

two bridges

Rendering: Handel Architects.

State Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron upheld an August 2019 ruling that four towers planned for the Lower East Side Two Bridges development cannot move forward. The judge’s decision invalidates the City Planning Commission’s 2018 approval of the towers on the grounds that City Council authority regarding the land-use review process was illegally bypassed and that the controversial skyscrapers must go through the city’s full application process. The ruling prevents the Department of Buildings from issuing permits until the multi-billion dollar project has the proper approvals. The decision represents a rare victory for those opposed to the skyscrapers, including the City Council and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and several Lower East Side and Chinatown community groups.

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Landscape Architecture, Lower East Side, Policy, Urban Design

Coastal Resiliency, NYC flooding, DDC

Preliminary design of Corlears shared use path; via DDC.

Borough President Gale A. Brewer and Council Member Carlina Rivera announced Thursday the completed report by independent consulting firm Deltares on the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project (ESCR). As 6sqft previously reported, the project was first developed in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and is intended to protect 2.2 miles of Manhattan’s East Side, between East 25th Street and Montgomery Street, from flooding and improve access to waterfront space. According to the city, the ESCR project would protect over 110,000 New Yorkers in the area.

Find out more and read the report

Chinatown, Lower East Side, New Developments, Policy

two bridges

Rendering: Handel Architects.

State Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron has extended a temporary halt on the Two Bridges high-rise development after hearing testimony on several lawsuits aimed at the controversial project in the Lower East Side and Chinatown, Gothamist reports. As 6sqft previously reported, several groups of Lower East Side residents and other community organizations filed a lawsuit against the city to stop four skyscrapers from rising in the Lower Manhattan neighborhood. The lawsuits accuse the city of illegally approving the multi-billion dollar project, claiming the City Planning Commission bypassed City Council authority regarding the land-use review process and that one of the towers violates a 32-year-old deed restriction that ensures housing for low-income residents with disabilities and the elderly.

‘An 800-pound gorilla’

Midtown East, Policy

One Vanderbilt, KPF Midtown East, SL Greene, Rezoning, Supertall Skyscrapers (14)

Plans to rezone Midtown East are few steps closer to reality with the start of the new year. The Department of City Planning has certified a rezoning proposal for the area surrounding Grand Central, and the city kicked off its official land-use review process Tuesday. The next step for the rezoning plans will be the seven-month Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), which includes review by community boards 5 and 6, the Manhattan borough president, the City Planning Commission and the City Council. The zoning proposal could add 6.5 million square feet of commercial space to the 73-block district in the form of 16 larger, more modern buildings that would replace old ones, breathing new life into the office zone that New York Post real estate columnist Steve Cuozzo recently referred to as “iconic but declining.”

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Major Developments, Midtown East, Transportation

Grand Central, One Vanderbilt, SL Green

As part of a five-year, $210 million plan to significantly upgrade Grand Central’s subway station, developer SL Green hopes to install new staircases to the train platforms, two new street-level entrances and a refurbished mezzanine level, and a 4,000-square-foot ground-level commuter waiting area. The improvements were conceived in conjunction with the MTA and the de Blasio administration earlier this year as the first component of the Midtown East Rezoning project.

The transit upgrades must all be completed before tenants can occupy One Vanderbilt (planned for completion in January 2020), SL Green’s new 65-story office tower planned for the entire block west of Grand Central and north of East 42nd Street. Designed by Kohn Pederson Fox, the tower will be the second-tallest building in the city when completed.

More on the upgrades ahead

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