Does the proposed Midtown East rezoning incentivize Pfizer to skip town? Council debates pharma giant’s site, air rights price floor at Tuesday hearing
From left: David Greenfield, Dan Garodnick and Midtown East (Credit: Getty Images)
The density boost that the Pfizer headquarters will automatically get under the Midtown East rezoning means that the pharmaceutical giant has a great reason to leave the neighborhood— and maybe the city.
We re almost, in a weird way, incentivizing them to sell and leave town, Council member David Greenfield said during a hearing on the rezoning proposal on Tuesday. Everything else we re doing, we re capturing some value back I still don t understand why this is the exception to the rule.
Under the rezoning, the Pfizer site — buildings at 219 East 42nd Street and 235 East 42nd Street — will change from allowed floor area ratio (FAR) 10 to FAR 15. This means that if the owner of the buildings decides to knock down the current towers and rebuild a modern office, they will be able to build towers with an FAR of 15 without contributing to the public improvement funds. Any size above that — up to an FAR of 21.6 — would require the owners to buy air rights from a landmarked air rights site nearby.
Edith Hsu-Chen, the city s Department of City Planning s Manhattan director, said the reason that the Pfizer sites are automatically getting an FAR leg-up is that most of the surrounding buildings already have an FAR of 15. She said that the sites should have been included in a zoning change in 1982 that upped the FAR of the other buildings.
But Greenfield noted that Pfizer plans to sell its headquarters by the end of 2017. He asked that the city take steps to assure that Pfizer isn t planning to move to New Jersey or god forb上海夜网论坛