Statement of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on East Midtown Rezoning

November 12, 2013

“Due to a lack of City Council support, we are withdrawing the application for the rezoning of East Midtown. This will unfortunately cost the area hundreds of millions of dollars in badly needed subway and street improvements and $1 billion in additional tax revenue – as well as tens of thousands of new jobs that would have been created. Throughout the lengthy and extensive public review process – which unfolded over the course of two years – we have worked with community leaders and elected officials to develop a modest proposal that would allow for a handful of sites to be redeveloped into modern office space, with developers paying into a fund that would support upgrades to the transportation network and open space in the area. We also worked closely with religious institutions in the area, and the proposal earned their support, providing them with a new funding source to maintain their iconic landmarked buildings. We have a financing agreement in place to pre-fund $100 million in mass transit and public space improvements before any new development could begin, but that funding was predicated on future development, which now will not occur. The inability to reach a consensus on the plan’s details is regrettable, but it was encouraging that nearly everyone involved in the process recognized the need for the area to be rezoned to ensure that it remains competitive with other business districts around the world, and we appreciate the time that Speaker Quinn, Council Member Garodnick, and Council staff put into this issue. We are glad to at least be leaving the next administration a blueprint for future action.”

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Contact:          Marc LaVorgna / Patrick Muncie                   (212) 788-2958