Opponents to the Midtown East rezoning have been very vocal in their distaste for the plan, which would allow for larger office buildings in a 78-block area around Grand Central. Preservationists say the proposed Midtown East rezoning will endanger the neighborhood's historic buildings. Justin Davidson, archicritic for New York Magazine, says it will "demote" Grand Central to a relic. But Post critic Steve Cuozzo adamantly disagrees, arguing that the rezoning is desperately needed. He says the area is useless for companies wanting to grow, and "without prompt attention, it will tragically devolve into a well-located back-office district."
Cuozzo thinks the rezoning is long overdue, and because of the current building restrictions, "once-supreme Midtown East is frozen in aspic." As such, companies are leaving the area for the west side or downtown?Cuozzo notes that office vacancies are nearing 13 percent. "[The rezoning] is a must to liberate East Midtown from its straitjacket," he writes. "Until then, the area's only hope is ambitious upgrade of older properties, as is happening at 280 Park Ave. But patch-and-fix isn't the optimal future for a neighborhood that still embodies the magic of Manhattan as no other. The goal is to reaffirm its premier status. It will only happen by allowing new landmarks?big, tall and worthy of their setting?to rise in the century ahead."
· Grand Central Crisis [NYP]
· All Midtown East Rezoning coverage [Curbed]
Photo by Mattron/Curbed Flickr Pool