There is no doubt that retail establishments and office space serve as the economic lifeblood of any city. After all, not only do these spaces offer places for people to work and to spend money, but they also attract new residents to the area. All of these variables are necessary to keep economic activity flowing. At the same time, taking the steps necessary to increase this type of economic activity is not always well-received. In an effort to keep the economy strong while also keeping residents happy, city officials frequently work together with companies to offer the best solutions. Among the ideas being proposed in the city to meet these goals include rezoning certain areas for office space and adding public parks to the rooftops of long-established busineses.
Midtown East Rezoning Proposal Approved by City Planning
The City Planning Commission recently approved a proposal to rezone a portion of Midtown East. While local residents and the community boards involved in the process have not been enthusiastic about the rezoning process, supporters hope it will help encourage the creation of modern office space in the region. In fact, elected officials have been pushing for the change for some time now, with the latest approval following the Manhattan Borough Board’s approval that happened in March.
The Uniform Land Use Review Procedure application for the proposal, which covers a 78-block stretch from East 39th Street to East 57th Street, got underway in January. The city hopes the rezoning will revamp the aging office space in the neighborhood, ultimately making it the go-to office destination in a way that is similar to the Financial District and Hudson Yards. Ultimately, the city hopes to create 16 new office buildings along with 600,000 square feet of retail space.
City Planning Commission is one of the final stages that needs to be cleared before the proposal can be approved or rejected. All but one of the commissioners on the Planning Commission approved the rezoning proposal. The proposal will need to go to the City Council, where it is supported by the Council member representing the rezoning area, before it can be finalized.
Public Park Proposed for the Rooftop of Macy’s Midtown Flagship
In an effort to attract more customers to the brick-and-mortar store rather than shopping online, the Macy’s flagship store on Harold Square is considering putting a public park on its rooftop. Under the proposal, the 2.2 million-square-foot store on 34th Street would receive an outdoor park complete with restaurants and open green space that includes benches and trees. In addition to bringing a great new amenity to the city, representatives hope the rooftop attraction will also encourage people to spend some time in their store as they make their way to the rooftop park.
With Macy’s serving as an anchor for other retail establishments in the area, taking steps to make the store more attractive will also benefit area businesses. Earlier this year, for example, Target announced plans to open its newest NYC output on 34th Street in the space that is directly across from Macy’s.