For the most part, much of the public drama over the Department of City Planning’s East Midtown proposal has been played out. At this point, most anyone with a stake in New York City real estate has (often quite forcefully) thrown in their two cents: architectural pundits and practitioners, big-time property owners, citywide civic advocacy groups, a consortium of affected Community Boards, present and presumptive Manhattan Borough Presidents, and nearly every faction of the fourth estate. But ultimately—or likely penultimately, as the City Council will most certainly take its turn to weigh in—it finally comes down to what the City Planning Commission thinks, and its moment arrives this week.
The Commission renders its vote this morning, and in what is widely regarded as the current Commissioners’ last major decision of the current administration, we can expect a discussion of significant breadth and depth. Because this is, after all, a years-in-the-making proposal by the Department itself, whose Director also chairs the Commission, it’s the safe bet that a vote for approval will come down when it’s all over. But, given the proposal’s scope, and the inescapable opinions of all those previously mentioned, it’s also reasonable to assume that some adjustments will have been made to the original proposal.
One thing that all sides agree on is that the East Midtown rezoning will have a profound impact on the neighborhood and the City, for decades to come. We look forward to hearing each Commissioner’s take on the project, especially since there’s a good chance that one of them will likely be appointed as the new Chair, once a new Mayor takes office in the new year.