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August 9, 2005

CONTACT: Rachaele Raynoff, Press Secretary -- (212) 720-3471


August 9, 2005 – City Planning Director Amanda M. Burden and Councilmember Christine Quinn announced the official beginning of public review for follow up actions to refine and streamline rules for development in the Hudson Yards. The proposed actions codify agreements committed to by the City Council and the Bloomberg administration at the adoption in January of the far reaching plan to spur development of 42 blocks of Manhattan’s far west side and provide for the extension of the Number 7 subway to serve the area. The measures extend the increased affordability provisions of the groundbreaking Hudson Yards affordable housing program to areas of the Hudson Yards not previously covered, and add zoning-based penalties for harassment among other protections for existing residents. Council Member Quinn is a co-applicant for the proposed changes referred out yesterday at a meeting of the City Planning Commission to begin the city’s land use review process.

"The intense interest in developing the Hudson Yards demonstrates the foresight of the rezoning plan and highlights the need to guide that development so that it accomplishes the mutual goals set out in our historic agreement," said Ms. Burden, adding, "The refinements in today’s action both codify and clarify certain aspects of this unprecedented and complex rezoning."

"This joint application ensures that our community and the Department of City Planning are moving forward on the agreements made at the City Council" said Councilmember Christine C. Quinn. "I am particularly proud that these additions include the improved anti-harassment provisions for both the Clinton Special District and the residential areas which this provision has been extended to in the Hudson Yards."

Among the measures outlined in the package of text changes:

  • Extend the Hudson Yards affordable housing provisions to sections of the 34 th Street corridor between Eighth and Ninth Avenues and the area around 41 st Street and Tenth Avenue.

  • Facilitate administration of the new affordable housing program by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) through language that allows use of city, state and federal programs.

  • Create zoning penalties for any property owner or manager found by HPD to have harassed current tenants. Update and improve existing anti-harassment provisions of the Clinton Special District and extend Hudson Yards anti-harassment provisions to the area of the Garment District between Eighth and Ninth Avenues. The zoning penalties are in addition to penalties provided under state law for harassment of tenants.

  • Protect existing residents in the Hells Kitchen neighborhood (from 35 th to 39 th Streets between Ninth and Tenth Avenues) from being displaced by commercial development. New construction would be permitted to provide ground floor retail.

  • Specify that developers who provide subway entrances in their buildings for the No. 7 subway extension may count the sidewalk landings toward their pedestrian circulation requirements.

  • Streamline and simplify tower design controls for residential and commercial buildings along the Farley ( 34 th Street) corridor.

  • Clarify that only legitimate theater use or non‑profit live performances arts uses would qualify a property owner to build additional floor area as a bonus for constructing theater space.

The Hudson Yards development is expected to move forward at a brisk pace: Half a dozen developers have indicated their intentions to begin constructing residential buildings and hotels in the Hudson Yards area. The announcement last week by the Mayor and Governor on the selection of a development team for the conversion of the Farley Post Office into the new Moynihan Train Station is another step toward the transformation of Hudson Yards to a vibrant 24/7 district. All told, the Hudson Yards project is expected to catalyze construction of nearly14,000 apartments, including 28 percent affordable to a range of incomes, 24 million square feet of commercial space and more than 100,000 permanent new private sector jobs in the Hudson Yards, adding $60 billion in new City and State tax revenues over the next 30 years.

Details of the comprehensive Hudson Yards plan and information on the land use review process can be found at the City Planning web site.

About City Planning
The Department of City Planning is responsible for the City's physical and socioeconomic planning, including land use and environmental review; preparation of plans and policies; and provision of technical assistance and planning information to government agencies, public officials, and community boards.

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