NEW YORK | 341-347 Madison Ave | FT | FLOORS


Continuing the discussion from NEW YORK | Midtown East - Vanderbilt Avenue Rezoning:

De Blasio resets the clock on massive rezoning

The rezoning of a huge swath of midtown won’t begin in earnest until 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday. But at least one major developer will get a head start.

MAY 30, 2014 11:53 A.M.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new timeline for the rezoning of a large swath of east midtown in Manhattan Friday, one that could stretch into 2016 but will allow for one major skyscraper project to get started in the meantime.

Under a special permit to be issued by the city and subject to public review, SL Green will build a 1.6 million-square-foot office building adjacent to Grand Central Terminal on Vanderbilt Avenue between East 42nd and East 43rd streets.

The public review process for the surrounding five blocks along Vanderbilt Avenue will begin this fall.

Mr. Weisbrod confirmed two other development sites as part of the initial Vanderbilt corridor rezoning: a property on Madison Avenue owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and the Roosevelt Hotel on East 45th Street.


MTA reopens bidding for Midtown headquarters site

By Lois Weiss | October 2, 2014 | 5:14pm

Photo: Joseph M. Calisi

As the city’s plans gel for Vanderbilt Ave. rezoning, the MTA has quietly reopened the bidding for the long-term lease on its headquarters block at 341-347 Madison Ave.

The site between E. 44th and 45th streets is being vacated and the winning bidder is expected to tear it down and put up a new skyscraper.

Developers have until Oct. 14 to amend their bids or submit new proposals, according to the Sept. 17 notice. The MTA sent out its original request for proposals in June 2013 and later extended its deadline to October 2013 while reopening it to new bidders. But once de Blasio was elected the major Midtown East rezoning was scrapped and since then, the MTA deal has been in a holding pattern.

Cushman & Wakefield is overseeing the bidding on behalf of the MTA. Reps for both declined to comment.

The agency is asking that new bids for the building be based on a floor area ratio (FAR) of between 24 and 30, or as much as 753,150 square feet. Right now zoning laws would allow 376,575 square feet.

There are also requirements to “support public circulation” in the area either on or off site, and the developer would have to meet “findings” with regard to the ground floor level, the massing and energy performance of the new building.

Additionally, landmark properties are expected to be able to transfer more air rights to the new structure, and any hotel within the new Vanderbilt Corridor would also need a special permit.

Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, said the Vanderbilt zoning proposal should be certified by City Planning by the end of October. “Up until recently there was uncertainty as to what the city was doing. Hopefully, this will encourage people to take another look at this site.”


MTA property deal is delayed

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has delayed a vote on a plan to redevelop its headquarters on Madison Avenue. A top city official is questioning whether Boston Properties, the developer of the project, should be allowed to avoid paying hundreds of millions in city taxes, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Under the deal, Boston Properties, which plans to erect a new skyscraper in place of the existing building in midtown Manhattan, would pay a so-called payment in lieu of taxes (also known as PILOTS) to the MTA, which will still own the building and lease it to the developer. The MTA is exempt from paying city property taxes.

City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said the PILOTS plan needs to clarified before it can be voted on.


I’m pleased for delays. I like the MTA buildings. Also, I’d prefer to see tenants fill 2 WTC, 50 HY, Girasole, and 335 Madison first.


In its memo, the city cited concern over the planned demolition and redevelopment of the former MTA headquarters at 347 Madison Ave. near Grand Central Terminal.

Rather than sell the property, the MTA has decided to give a developer, Boston Properties, a 99-year lease.

Under current plans, the developer would be required to submit plans to the city planning commission and City Council to qualify for a zoning bonus that would allow it build higher than otherwise permitted near Grand Central Terminal.

The MTA says no changes to these procedures are planned. But city officials worry the new law could weaken its position in future negotiations with the authority. In the past both sides have worked together on projects, city officials said

“It has always been based on mutual cooperation,” Mr. Weisbrod said. “It has never been the case that the MTA has the right to unilaterally do what it wants.”

The city and the MTA are in negotiations over how to share revenue from payments in lieu of taxes from the new Madison Avenue building.


Since the Yale Club was declared a landmark (or is about to be), this is a small footprint; thus, the tower should be tall.


Lois may have been drinking last night. I believe that BP – not Brookfield – is developing. (Thus, expect something crappy.)

On the plus side, with so much new, empty space coming to NY, BP likely won’t build the inevitable lame glass box for quite some time.


2) MTA headquarters, 341-347 Madison Avenue

This property would technically fall under the Vanderbilt Corridor rezoning, which was the precursor to the Midtown East rezoning. The MTA has been trying to find someone to redevelop the site for several years. Boston Properties came close to signing a 99-year lease in 2016, in which the real estate investment trust agreed to build an office tower that would span between 601,224 and 751,530 square feet.

But the deal was ensnared by a city and state dispute. City officials weren’t happy that the real estate investment trust would get to skip out on hundreds of millions of dollars in property taxes since the company would instead provide payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTS) to the MTA. The PILOT payments were estimated to be worth $1 billion over the course of the 99-year-lease. The Wall Street Journal reported in February 2016 that the deal was put on hold. According to the MTA, the project is still in play.

“Boston Properties is preparing plans and environmental documents required to be completed prior to starting a public land use review process,” an MTA spokesperson said in a statement. Representatives for Boston Properties didn’t return a message seeking comment.