The biggest short term news is about something smaller and the biggest long term news is about something bigger–300 sq. ft. apartments and midtown office towers.
Currently, the smallest legal size for an apartment is 400 sq. ft.. The City Planning Commission has issued an RFP for design and construction of an apartment building at 335 East 27th St. where at least three quarters of the units would be only 275-300 sq. ft. The idea is that singles and couples could find smaller spaces more affordable and that advances in ventilation and design will make small new units safer and more attractive than old SROs.
The Planning Department also this week presented a proposal to Community Board 5 to allow taller office buildings around Grand Central and in midtown East. Part of the Mayor’s plan to keep New York competitive into the future, the changes are unlikely to be adopted before his term ends, but could reshape the skyline with modern buildings. Floor Area Limits between Madison and Lexington and 39th and 49th Streets would increase to 24, allowing 900 foot towers, and increased height in much of the rest of midtown east. For comparison, the roof lines (not counting antennas) of the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, MetLife Building, and Sony Tower are 1250, 925, 808, and 647 feet, respectively.
And who is going to build those new buildings? Or repair the old ones? If you need trained construction workers, certified renovators, or simply skilled handymen from local neighborhoods around town contact Pam Himeles at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is coordinating Construction Workforce Development with Builders, the New York City Housing Authority, and the New York College of Technology. There are hundreds of graduates of a ten week full time NY Tech program with OSHA and Scaffolding certifications, lead paint training, and more, waiting for you to call.