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Multi-Board Task Force on East Midtown Rezoning

Principles for a New East Midtown

From the beginning we, as Community Boards, have aspired to be partners in the planning for the future of East Midtown.  We are very open to the idea of re-thinking Midtown but it needs to be supported by a plan that carefully examines the many complex issues involved in charting Midtown's future.  The issues involved are too important to hastily reach conclusions that will affect New Yorkers for decades to come.  Unfortunately, the approach the Department of City Planning has taken thus far makes clear that a political timetable is guiding this work, not an effort to study the issues carefully and reach a consensus on the many challenges and opportunities that should frame Midtown's future.  More time is needed to consider the implications of our suggestions and we continue to urge the City to take its time before putting forward a ULURP application.

A class "A" Office District is not just about Class "A" Office buildings.  It's about efficient, comfortable, and convenient transportation options.  It's about diversity of tenants, populations, and ideas.  It's about having a civic experience that is worthy of the grandeur of Grand Central Station.  We should start from what we want to see in East Midtown, what kind of experience we want office workers, tourists, and residents to have, and then determine what kind of development can provide this experience and how best to encourage it.

In order to help guide the work the Department of City Planning is undertaking we have developed the following principles that we believe would create a more careful and comprehensive plan.  These principles will, in part, help shape our response to future land use applications.   

-          Infrastructure should precede development

-          A comprehensive public realm strategy

-          A mixed use future

-          Protecting potential landmarks

-          An environmentally class "A" district

-          Careful citywide planning

-          Protecting public investments

-          How about our skyline? 

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