Yorkville has been well known for its affordability and long walks to the subway, but when the city first broke ground on the Second Avenue subway in 2007, neighborhood restaurants and merchants suffered a decade of jackhammering and shuttered blocks.
Here’s an answer to a previous post’s question, Where is Carl Weisbrod? There will be a new city planning commissioner on March 1, but we can still ask Weisbrod why he hasn’t certified the rezoning plan for Sutton Place.
LaGuardia Airport has been called many not-nice things, among them “a Third World Country” (former VP Joe Biden). But East Siders know LaGuardia as a quick ride, especially at pre-dawn hours. And this time of year, flights to Florida leave with subway frequency. We cannot ignore the shabbiness of the place, but out of the dingy gloom shine some of the most fabulous people on earth.
Had a developer proposed building a megatower in the middle of a narrow tree-lined street anywhere else in the five boroughs, he’d be laughed clear across the nearest river. But the small piece of Manhattan encompassing most of the 50s, east of First Avenue, is the only residential area in the city with no height limits on buildings. None at all.
ERFA town hall meeting to to oppose megatower invasion of Sutton Place
Hence, Gamma Real Estate’s plan to shoehorn a ludicrous spike smack into the middle of E. 58th Street, just off First. Although the Kalikow family is trying to portray its massive project as a done deal, it is not quite.
The East River 50s Alliance (ERFA) has submitted a sophisticated rezoning plan for the neighborhood that would impose sane height limits on new construction while promoting more affordable housing than Mayor de Blasio would require under current rules.
One thing we love about Upper East Siders is that they have lives. Thus, they tend not to be in awe of famous people and their amour-propre. One sterling example would Dr. Harold N. Bornstein, personal doctor (as of this writing) to the world’s most conspicuous personality, Donald J. Trump.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has chosen a mighty strange way of celebrating the 100th anniversary of zoning in New York City. His zoning plan, approved in March, calls for more affordable housing for low-income families, but more housing affordable to the wealthy will be its main achievement.
It’s not over. There’s still time to prevent the construction of a 90-plus story(!) megatower in the middle of East 58th Street just off Sutton Place. But the alarms were sounding last Thursday at a meeting of the East River 50s Alliance.