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News from Gale Brewer

Brewer says no to JPMorgan Chase zoning proposal for 270 Park Avenue

NEW YORK – Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer issued her formal ULURP recommendationon the zoning text amendment proposed by JPMorgan Chase for its new headquarters building at 270 Park Avenue. In her recommendation, she rejected the proposal because it came without adequate public realm improvements and it breaks with the standards set by the East Midtown rezoning enacted in 2017.

“The East Midtown rezoning was meant to balance density, transit, and the public realm infrastructure needs of the Midtown community,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “This proposal ignores that balance, developed over the course of scores of meetings with urban planners and stakeholders in the community, as well as the exhaustive ULURP process, and as a result I must urge that the text amendment as written be rejected.”

In her recommendation, Brewer outlines the following steps JPMorgan Chase should take to improve their proposal, among others.

  • Provide at least 10,000 square feet of publicly accessible space, as required by the current zoning, with at least 30% open to the sky;
  • Provide restrooms within the publicly accessible space that are open to the public;
  • Provide a significant public benefit, perhaps chosen from among these options, to be explored and agreed upon by the Community Board and the bank:
    • New staircase and elevator entrances to Grand Central Terminal within the 270 Park Avenue, JP Morgan’s adjacent building at 383 Madison Avenue, or another location within East Midtown;
    • Improvements to the pedestrian corridor leading from 270 Park Avenue to Grand Central Terminal;
    • A contribution or in-kind repair of the Grand Central train shed; and/or
    • An MTA substation, to be constructed as part of the proposed building.

270 Park Avenue, the JPMorgan Chase headquarters, is the first development to occur since the East Midtown rezoning. The company proposes to demolish the existing building and build a new, higher and denser building.

The full recommendation is downloadable here as a PDF.