Hoping to spark a new era of skyscraper development, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has asked for sweeping changes in zoning for the historic 70-block neighborhood around Grand Central Station.
The new regulations for the Midtown Manhattan district would allow, in some cases, construction of towers twice as high as now permitted, the New York Times reports. Current regulations cap towers in the area at 30 stories.
“Unlocking the development potential in this area will generate historic opportunities for investment in New York City,” Deputy Mayor Robert Steel told the New York Times.
The area needs a new generation of modern, Class-A office towers to remain vibrant and compete with fast-growing vertical business districts in London, Tokyo and other major cities, administration officials argue. Three hundred of the 400 buildings in the area are more than 50 years old, according to their data.
Demand for office space in New York is currently weak, but administration officials argue the city needs to be ready when the market turns.
The proposal still needs the approval of the City Council.