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Midtown East Rezoning Officially Approved By City Council

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Midtown East Rezoning Officially Approved By City Council
Grand Central Terminal, whose valuable air rights are among the questions for the Midtown East rezoning.

Midtown East's rezoning plan has been officially approved by City Council, ending a five-year process.

The council voted 42-0 to approve a new zoning plan for 78 blocks of Midtown, with sweeping changes that will allow for larger buildings and an estimated 6.5M SF of new offices, Crain's New York reports.

Perhaps the most contentious issue in the rezoning plan is the change in air rights, which now allows historical buildings, such as Grand Central Terminal and St. Patrick's Cathedral, to sell their buildable rights to anyone building in the district, rather than just those neighboring the historic property in question.

Twenty percent of any air rights sale will now go to the City of New York to pay for public improvements, such as green space and subway stations, a provision that the Real Estate Board of New York worried could price out developers. Midtown East has about 3.6M SF of air rights that will be affected by the zoning change.