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Midtown East Rezoning Approved by City Planning

Midtown East Rezoning Approved by City Planning

East Midtown is one step closer to having a zoning text and map amendment.

On June 7, 2017, the New York City Planning Commission (CPC) approved the proposed amendment that would establish the East Midtown Subdistrict within the Special Midtown District. The CPC reports have recently been posted to the Department of City Planning’s (DPC) website N 170186A ZRM (text amendment) & C 170187 ZMM (map amendment).

The East Midtown area is a business hub, already containing nearly 60 million square feet of office space. The current as of right Floor Area Ratios (FAR) within the area to be affected range from 12.0 to 15.0 for commercial uses. The proposed amendment could increase as of right FARs within the subdistrict to be increased to as high as 18.0 to 27.0. Such increased FARs can be achieved in various ways including:

  • The transfer of landmark development rights: The amendment strives to make the transfer of such development rights easier.
  • The rebuilding of legally non-compliant floor area: Existing non-complying buildings that are overbuilt can be completely rebuilt as complying buildings, subject to CPC approval, utilizing the existing non-compliant floor area without being subject to the limitations of ZR 54-41 which only allows a building to be reconstructed with non-complying bulk if 75% or less of the building is demolished.
  • The completion of direct improvements to below-grade transit infrastructure: FARs will be increased for specified transit improvements. The site to benefit from such increased FAR must be within the same subarea (areas defined within the subdistrict) as the transit improvement.

The City Council will have to review and adopt any of these changes, but according to the timeline posted on the DPC’s website, the City Council review is allotted 50 days. The timeline can be found here under “public review.”