Midtown East Rezoning

Midtown East Rezoning

1 Vanderbilt Gets the Go-Ahead from City Council

A rendering of 1 Vanderbilt (image: Kohn Pedersen Fox)

The New York City Council this afternoon unanimously approved SL Green Realty Corp.’s proposal for a new office tower, 1 Vanderbilt, in the heart of Midtown East. The Council also gave the green light for the rezoning of the Vanderbilt Corridor, the five-block stretch that spans from East 42nd to East 47th Streets.

“It is time to unlock the economic development potential in East Midtown,” said Council Member Daniel R. Garodnick in prepared remarks. “The area has gotten stuck in outdated rules, and has lost some of its competitiveness over time.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.” Read More

Midtown East Rezoning

Vanderbilt Rezoning Takes Giant Leap Forward

Today's press conference outside of City Hall.

In a display of synergy between government and real estate, the New York City Council’s zoning subcommittee, which is part of the land use committee, approved the creation of a special permit to increase the density of the buildings along the five-block Vanderbilt Corridor.

“We are here today to say that East Midtown is back,” said City Council Member Dan Garodnick at a press conference this morning on the steps of City Hall preceding the 7 to 0 vote. “For too long, this area has been stuck.” Read More

Midtown East Rezoning

Planning Commission Approves 1 Vanderbilt Application

A rendering of 1 Vanderbilt (image: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates).

The City Planning Commission today unanimously approved the 1 Vanderbilt application for SL Green Realty Corp.’s proposed 64-story office tower and the rezoning of the Vanderbilt corridor in Midtown. This brings the high-profile property, which is setting out to reinvigorate the Grand Central Terminal area, one step closer to life.

The vote, which reportedly went fairly swiftly, was an opportunity for commissioners to stress this is the type of development that should be materializing in Midtown. Read More

Midtown East Rezoning

SL Green, City Square Off With Argent at Community Board

1 Vanderbilt

Forget Caeser’s Palace. The best recent slugfest took place last week at the main branch of the New York Public Library on 42nd Street.

City officials and SL Green Realty Corp.  executives argued for the proposed 1 Vanderbilt tower and the five-block Vanderbilt Corridor rezoning during a three-hour Uniform Land Use Review Procedure hearing before Manhattan Community Boards 5 and 6 last Monday night. Read More

Midtown East Rezoning

SL Green Scores a TD at 1 Vanderbilt

1 Vanderbilt

TD Bank inked a lease to anchor SL Green Realty Corp.’s proposed 1 Vanderbilt skyscraper in an approximately 200,000-square-foot deal for both a flagship retail space and a sizable office footprint in 2020, SL Green announced today.

The 67-story, 1.6-million-square-foot tower slated for 317 Madison Avenue still needs to gain approval through the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, and representatives for SL Green will be presenting the project to Manhattan Community Boards 5 and 6 at a public hearing tonight at the 42nd Street Library. Read More

Midtown East Rezoning

City Planning Certifies Vanderbilt Corridor Application

1 Vanderbilt

The Department of City Planning certified a five-block rezoning application today for a stretch of Vanderbilt Avenue adjacent to Grand Central Terminal in Midtown East that includes SL Green Realty Corp.‘s proposed 67-story, 1.3-million-square-foot 1 Vanderbilt office tower.

The announcement officially kicks off the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, sending the contentious plan for successive evaluations by Manhattan Community Boards 5 and 6, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, the City Planning Commission and finally to the City Council. The certification could also restart the momentum behind the larger 73-block Midtown East rezoning that failed in the City Council last year. Read More

Midtown East Rezoning

SL Green, City Planning Detail 1 Vanderbilt Transit Upgrades

1 Vanderbilt

Officials with SL Green Realty Corp. and the Department of City Planning outlined a detailed rebuttal today to claims by executives with Grand Central Terminal landlord Argent Ventures that the developers pursuing a rezoning to build the 1,350-foot 1 Vanderbilt tower across the street from the terminal haven’t made the necessary public-benefit commitments to build 528,900 square feet above the Midtown East site’s existing zoning restrictions.

SL Green presented local Community Board 5 with a 68-page report that aggregates the $210 million in transit upgrades for the planned 67-story structure at 317 Madison Avenue that the company says it negotiated over 17 months of talks with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Read More

Midtown East Rezoning

Argent, SL Green Trade Barbs Over Grand Central Air Rights

Click to enlarge: rendering of 1 Vanderbilt public improvements. (Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates)

The dispute over Midtown East rezoning between Grand Central Terminal landlord Argent Ventures and 1 Vanderbilt developer SL Green Realty Corp. spilled over into the panel circuit this morning at the annual September conference of the Appraisal Institute.

Shortly after SL Green managing director Robert Schiffer detailed roughly $210 million in infrastructure improvements for the 1.6-million-square foot tower slated for Vanderbilt Avenue and East 42nd Street–upgrades like new stairways to the terminal and an enclosed public space, in addition to building setbacks on the 65-story tower allowing new open viewing lines for the terminal–Argent director of development Eric Anderson reiterated the company’s opposition to potential city bonuses giving SL Green the right to construct the new tower without buying any of Argent’s 1.3 million square feet of transferable development rights at Grand Central. Read More

Midtown East Rezoning

City Officials, SL Green Respond to Grand Central Landlord

Vanderbilt Corridor

A week after a contentious Department of City Planning hearing on the Vanderbilt Corridor proposal to rezone five blocks in Midtown East, City Planning officials and attorneys for SL Green Realty Corp. doubled down on their view that the proposal won’t block Grand Central Terminal landlord Argent Ventures from selling the historic property’s unused air rights.

With Argent and preservation advocates raising tough questions about whether a go-ahead to build the One Vanderbilt office tower adjacent to Grand Central without buying any transferable development rights from Argent would hinder needed aid to a city landmark, SL Green lawyers and city officials responded with a full-throated defense of the plan. Read More

Midtown East Rezoning

One Vanderbilt Gets Advisory Nod from LPC

One Vanderbilt

The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission lent their advisory support to the design of SL Green Realty Corp.’s potential 1,350-foot One Vanderbilt tower during a public hearing yesterday on whether the company’s schemes will form a harmonious addition to the site adjacent to Grand Central Terminal.

After a presentation on the building’s look, its planned public space and the company’s vision of how the glass base of the building would fit into the historic area, officials with the city agency who examined the company’s schemes as part of a 2010 Bowery Savings Bank building development rights purchase by SL Green gave their backing to the proposed Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates skyscraper as a welcome addition to the landscape. Read More

Midtown East Rezoning

Grand Central Landlord Threatens Lawsuit Over One Vanderbilt [Updated]

Vanderbilt Corridor

The landlord of Grand Central Terminal sent two lawyers to a preliminary Department of City Planning hearing on SL Green Realty Corp.’s proposal for One Vanderbilt to communicate the strong objections of Argent Ventures and its two private partners to the current plans for the 1,350-foot Midtown East office tower.

Sparks flew at a public meeting today about the pending environmental impact statement on the 67-story structure that would rise at 317 Madison Avenue adjacent to Grand Central, with litigation attorney Duane Loft of Boies, Schiller & Flexner offering up a threat to slap the city with a $1 billion lawsuit over the terminal’s unused air rights. Read More

Midtown East Rezoning

Midtown East Rezoning Denied by City Council


Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s initiative to rezone the 73 blocks of East Midtown surrounding Grand Central Terminal was met with rejection yesterday as members of the City Council announced they could not come to an agreement on the plan.

“A good idea alone is not enough to justify action today,” Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Council Member Dan Garodnick said in a joint-statement released yesterday. “We should rezone East Midtown, but only when we can do so properly. After extensive negotiations, we have been unable to reach agreement on a number of issues in the proposed plan.” Read More

Midtown East Rezoning

Grand Central Owner Argues Air Rights are Undervalued

Grand Central Terminal

Andrew Penson, president and founder of Argent Ventures, owner of Grand Central Terminal, is fighting back against the Midtown East rezoning plan, which Mr. Penson argues undervalues the 1.3 million square feet of transferable development rights acquired along with the rail station, Crain’s New York reported.

As part of the rezoning proposal, the city is planning to charge $250 per square foot for development rights allowing developers to build larger towers in the Midtown East submarket. The city’s price, Mr. Penson argues, is half of what Argent values the air rights at. Read More