State Senator Liz Krueger State Senator Brad Hoylman Assemblymember Dan Quart

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney

Mayor Michael Bloomberg City Hall New York, NY 10007 January 9th, 2012 Dear Mayor Bloomberg: As the state and federal elected officials who represent East Midtown, we have been closely following the East Midtown Rezoning plan that was proposed by the Department of City Planning earlier this year. We fully understand that it is essential to New York City’s economic health to maintain East Midtown’s position as a premiere business district for companies across the globe. However, we share the concerns expressed by our colleagues in the City Council, Daniel Garodnick and Jessica Lappin, as well as Community Boards 4, 5, and 6, that this proposed rezoning is moving too quickly and fails to comprehensively plan for the many infrastructure and open-space needs of the community. We are aware that some of East Midtown’s current building stock is out of date and is eroding East Midtown’s status as the neighborhood with the most sought-after business addresses in the world. We support zoning changes that will be helpful in encouraging the development of new world-class office buildings and the jobs that will come with them. However, we are also concerned about today’s businesses, workers and residents. Because this rezoning is so important, it is critical that it is done correctly the first time and is responsive to the concerns of the area’s current stakeholders even as it lays the groundwork for the area’s future. To accomplish this, we ask that your office and the Department of City Planning allow more time for the community to understand and respond to these plans. As the City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure imposes a strict timeline for the consideration of applications, we believe that it may be necessary for the Department of City Planning to withdraw the application it submitted this August in order to permit sufficient time for community input. Indeed, we share the “Principles for a New East Midtown” recently set forth by the Tri-Board Task Force on East Midtown Rezoning. These include: the need for a comprehensive, detailed vision of the public realm improvements which will be completed by the City and developers; a clear preservation plan for potential landmarks within the rezoning area; a special review process for buildings that could disrupt iconic features of New York’s skyline such as the Empire State

and Chrysler buildings; and careful study of the potential adverse impact this rezoning could have on demand for office space in the City’s emergent business districts, including the Hudson Yards and Lower Manhattan as well as downtown Brooklyn and Long Island City. In the long term, a particularly important component of this plan will be the City’s ability to require developers to increase their commitment to environmental sustainability. New York City building codes are among the greenest in the world, but developers that take advantage of the rezoning to build beyond the limits of as-of-right construction must be held to higher standards of design and community contributions. Similarly, they should be expected to create exceptionally sustainable developments, buildings that model best practices over and above what our building codes require. We are also extremely concerned that the City’s current proposal fails to adequately protect the many historically and architecturally important buildings in East Midtown that have not yet been landmarked. There are 21 non-landmarked buildings in the proposed rezoning area that the New York State Historic Preservation Office has determined are eligible for listing on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. The New York Landmarks Conservancy recently completed a survey of the area and found an additional 17 historic buildings that it plans to submit to State Historic Preservation Office for consideration. Of this total group of 38 historically significant buildings identified by the Landmarks Conservancy, 16 have been identified as projected or potential development sites in the scoping document prepared by the Department of City Planning. As the Department of City Planning lays the groundwork for the future of East Midtown, it must ensure that the historically important buildings that add to the community’s vibrancy and diversity are preserved. While we support the concept of encouraging the development of more iconic Class A office buildings in East Midtown, we ask that your office and the Department of City Planning heed the community’s request to allow more time for deliberation and consideration of the community’s questions and recommendations to ensure that this plan serves the neighborhood, both current and future.


Dan Quart Assemblymember

Carolyn Maloney Congresswoman

Liz Krueger Liz Krueger State Senator Brad Hoylman State Senator