Manhattan is well on its way to resembling a giant, expensive pincushion by 2018, and the City Council nudged it one step further yesterday by approving a proposal for fancy development 1 Vanderbilt. When complete, Midtown will be blessed with one more 63-story office tower full of people who make more money than Scrooge McDuck could ever hold in his fancy off-shore money pool.
The good news is, normal people are supposedly getting something out of this new hunk of steel—the developer, SL Green Realty, has agreed to build new subway entrances that will likely alleviate some of the congestion on the 4,5,6 trains at Grand Central, along with a pedestrian plaza and other public spaces.
The Council has agreed to rezone East 42nd to East 47th Streets along Madison and Vanderbilt Avenues, which make up the Vanderbilt Corridor and are usually packed with people trying to flee Manhattan via Metro-North. The developers will add direct connections from the tower to the subway, Metro-North and future LIRR trains.
City Council Member Dan Garodnick, who championed the project last month, says the new development "will open the door to additional density in exchange for much-needed improvements to our transit system," which is great news, though adding a bunch of new floors full of office workers will probably still add some extra human traffic. Critics of the rezoning worry it may eventually bring about the demise of old historic buildings like the Roosevelt Hotel.
1 Vanderbilt—and its accompanying transit upgrades—are expected to be finished by 2021.