Midtown East – officially defined as the area between East 39th and 57th street between 2nd and 5th Avenue – is one of Manhattan’s most active business districts, encompassing Madison Avenue, the iconic shops of Fifth Avenue, Grand Central Terminal; and being just a few short streets from Times Square, the United Nations, and Rockefeller Center. This year, it is being reviewed by the New York City Planning Commission as they hope to set a future for continued and sustainable development in the area.
According to a report by The Real Deal, Planning Commission Amanda Burden announced last week that the board would begin the public review process within the coming weeks to establish regulations for the renovation and development of buildings in the district. While Midtown East is already one of the most active New York City office space markets with thousands of square feet in office space available, the rezoning plan hopes to introduce new, more modern office space desired by technology-based firms now entering the New York City market.
One of the key focuses of the plan is energy efficiency as commercial buildings are remodeled and new developments are planned. The Planning commission has proposed a requirement for new commercial buildings to be more the 15% than the current city-wide building regulation standards.
In addition to energy, developers will be allowed to build taller buildings with more, larger floors, by paying $250 per square foot for ‘air rights’. The funds from this regulation would go towards public improvement projects including new transit projects. Places of worship are also asking to be included in the new regulations so that they can benefit from air rights.
This news comes as Midtown Manhattan office space demand has held steady and slowly increased as the economic recovery continues and sustains. Midtown East hopes to introduce new, more modern buildings to attract the attention of companies that have currently established themselves in Chelsea and Midtown South, which has seen a great amount of growth within the past two years with vacancies at all-time lows.