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Central Park Shadow Talk Is 'Overblown,' REBNY Report Says

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The Real Estate Board of New York has released a report based on a round-table discussion on the impacts of the city's latest group of sky-grazing towers. It should come as no surprise that the five panelists tapped to lead the discussion by the pro-development group ultimately found that accusations against the city's slew of new supertall development, especially concerning the buildings on Central Park South and the shadows they'll cast, "[ignore] the history of development and zoning in New York, [overlook] the zoning rules that applied to the building of towers, [dismiss] the economic benefits from these projects, and [are] in many instances misleading." To unravel these accusations, REBNY compiled the content of the discussion into a report arranged in the question and answer format.

A lot of the report's energies are centered on dispelling the idea that the new development along Central Park South will "significantly impact" the park,

Regarding Central Park, it's important to keep the recent development activity in perspective. The five so-called 'supertall' buildings adjacent to the Park account for an infinitesimal percentage of the over 4,000 buildings within a two-block radius of the Park—a quarter of which are overbuilt and nearly 70% of which are restricted from redevelopment by landmarks designation. Additionally, the Central Park Conservancy, a valuable steward of the park, has stated that the shadows have not significantly impacted the horticulture or experience of the park. In short, the criticism over the shadows created by the latest generation of towers is overblown and does not require the radical changes to our Zoning Resolution that critics have proposed. The report comes following a bout of anti-shadow demonstrations, not to mention in the wake of the city's decision to maintain a hands-off policy when it comes to curtailing as-of-right development.

The new REBNY report takes its time explaining the origins, effects, and impacts of zoning, while also trying to pass off that supertall towers are environmentally friendly (In effect, they're environmentally friendly because they're new.) For the full report, head here.
· The Latest Generation of Towers: Tall, Slender and Mostly Residential [REBNY]
· Report: Historic Districts Don't Preserve Stabilized Housing [Curbed]
· All REBNY coverage [Curbed]