A couple of new commercial developments are underway in New York City, offering new employment opportunities to the area.
Staten Island Correctional Facility to Become Sound Stages
After purchasing Staten Island’s former correctional facility for $7 million, Greenpoint-based soundstage company Broadway Stages is moving forward with plans to transform the space into sound stages. As part of the $7 million deal, the company agreed to invest $20 million into renovating the 45 buildings located on the property as well as the jail over the next five years.
The company hopes to attract new television and film productions to the area, particularly prison-themed shows and movies looking for a space. The 400-cell Arthur Kill Correctional facility, which is located in Rossville, will certainly offer a sense of authenticity to these productions. Plans also call for using some of the on-site buildings as office space for productions.
The company will have to complete numerous renovations, however, before it can be used for television and film. The jail has been shut down since 2011, which means water, plumbing and electricity all need to be restored in order to bring the property up to code.
City Council Approves Midtown East Rezoning for New Office Development
In a unanimous vote, the New York City Council approved rezoning Midtown East to allow for the development of modern office space along a 78-block stretch of land. Under the new zoning regulations, 6.8 million square feet of new office space can be developed while 6.6 million square feet of existing space can be modernized into Class A office buildings. In turn, this is expected to create 28,000 permanent jobs in the area.
Transit improvements would also be included as a part of the rezoning, as developers who build in areas adjacent to subway stations will be required to make certain additions or improvements to the stations before they will be allowed occupancy in their new buildings. These additions and improvements may include things such as creating a new entrance or installing a new elevator or escalator. In this way, the area can expect the development of a new generation of office buildings as well as major upgrades to subway stations. Those stations that are likely to see improvements as part of the rezoning initiative include:
- Lexington Avenue / 53rd – 51st Street (E,M,6)
- Lexington Avenue – 59th Street (N,Q,R,4,5,6)
- Fifth Avenue / 53rd Street (E,M)
- 47th / 50th Streets – Rockefeller Ctr (B,D,F,M)
- 42 St – Bryant Park / 5th Avenue (B,D,F,M,7)
- Grand Central / 42nd Street (4,5,6,7,S)
The rezoning initiative will also allow developers to purchase air rights from buildings in the area that have been landmarked. These air rights can also be transferred to any part of the rezoned area. A portion of the sales from selling air rights will go toward the city fund designated for carrying out improvements to public space. The city has already committed $50 million toward the program, with the areas selected for upgrade including:
- Shared Street on 43rd Street between Lexington and 3rd Avenue
- Pershing East Plaza
- 53rd Street Thoroughfare Improvements
- Park Avenue Turn Lane Improvements
- Lexington Avenue Improvements