In the Rezone
Based on the arguments made by those both for and against the Midtown East rezoning—a “sweeping proposal,” wrote New York magazine architecture critic Justin Davidson, with “swollen ambitions for the skyline”—one might think that the proposed land use change, which would affect 78 blocks between Second and Fifth Avenues and East 39th and East 57th Streets, would be a dramatic revision of New York City’s most hallowed business district.
Crain’s New York Business calls the plan “essential.” The Post’s Steve Cuozzo, ever a friend to big real estate, says it’s “vital to the city’s future, a way to ensure that Manhattan’s most desirable commercial zone can compete in the future with global capitals like London and Shanghai.”
Best Laid Plans
Easy does it. That is the message from Councilman Dan Garodnick, echoing concerns of two Midtown community boards, that the Bloomberg administration is moving too fast in its plans to rezone Midtown East to allow for taller skyscrapers.
The Councilman, who represents the eastern flank of Manhattan, applauded the plan in a letter [PDF] to Planning Commish Amanda Burden last week shared with The Observer, but he worries to plan is so complex, it needs more time to be considered. The Department of City Planning argues there is enough time to get the job done before the Bloomberg administration is out in a year and a half.
Babbo's Big Boy
Joseph Bastianich isn’t content being a mere Restaurant Man, as he’d have it. Or even a haute grocer.
“Hopefully, we’re going to change the way people consume,” he said, sitting at a table in Eataly, the Flatiron grocery store he opened in August 2010 in a partnership with Mario Batali, his mother, Lidia, and Italian businessman Oscar Farinetti. Before him was a plate of lentils and a glass of red wine. Asked about the rising price of food, he quickly fired off his reply in his distinctly outer-borough-bred baritone: “We’re going to change the balance of the plate. Less proteins, more carbs, more legumes, more rice, more barley. The era of cheap, abundant food is gone.”
Conde Nast has reportedly agreed to take on an additional 133,000 square feet of office space at 1 World Trade Center, adding to the 1.05 million it has already committed to at the yet-to-be-completed skyscraper, the New York Post reported.
The cause of the elevator accident at 285 Madison is still being investigated, and it looks like faulty maintenance may have been the cause. Not so for Post real estate sage Steve Cuozzo. He blames the city’s bureaucracy for saddling us with outdated building stock.
Dan Biederman, head of a half-dozen BIDs and civic organizations (one of the city’s shadow mayors!) has been steadfast in his support of the re-engineering of midtown streets at the hands of the Bloomberg administration, even when it rankled many of his constituents. The passion shows in a brash, even scathing, interview with Streetsblog, where Mr. Biederman calls out a couple hacks.
In his column today, the Post‘s Steve Cuozzo (the 100th most powerful man in real estate) suggested that New Yorkers retire the phrase “ground zero,” and let the term become–like bin Laden and the chaos surrounding the WTC’s reconstruction–a thing of the past.
“To stand at Church and Vesey streets,” Cuozzo says, “is Read More
The Neverending Story
The future of the city rests downtown–we told you so–thanks in large part to the redevelopment of Ground Zero and the millions of square feet popping up in and around the World Trade Center site. But now Post real estate dean Steve Cuozzo is reporting that an NYPD security plan is in Read More
Tales of Retail
As The Observer noted yesterday, retail rents soared recently to more than $1,700 per square foot in Times Square. Whoo hoo. Break out the Champagne because it’s New Year’s in November, baby!
But here comes the Post‘s Steve Cuozzo to crash our party:
Manhattan’s widespread, chronic store vacancies are far more numerous than Read More
In Da Slope
Post Real Estate columnist Steve Cuozzo likes to act like he’s no architecture critic.
You don’t need a degree in architecture to hate the triangular mugging ground of “environmentally conscious landscaping, intimate seating areas” and a goofy, planted-roof subway entrance — a “flexible open space” more conducive to hosting a Crips-Bloods scrimmage than the intended Read More