Murray Hill in the News July - October 2016

Monday, October 3, 2016

October 17, 2016, New York Times, Future Neighbor Will Tower Over Grand Central, but Allow It to Shine, by Matt A. V. Chaban.

October 10, 2016, New York Times, New York City May Double Number of Food Vendor Permits, by Samantha Schmidt. The City Council intends to consider legislation that would gradually double the number of food vendor permits issued over the course of seven years.

October 7, 2016 | Updated October 10, 2016, DNAinfo, 82-Year-Old Woman Thrown to Ground During Murray Hill Mugging, Police Say, By Ben Fractenberg. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at

October 5, 2016,, East Midtown Rezoning Plan: What You Need to Know, by Noah Hurowitz.

September 21, 2016,, De Blasio administration proposes sweeping changes to street fairs, by Laura Nahmias.

September 21, 2016, New York Post, City wants to bring in local vendors to ‘soulless’ street fairs, by Michael Gartland.

September 16, 2016,, 2016, Waldorf Astoria's new owner vows to work with city on preserving hotel interior: Anbang Insurance Group will be converting the hotel, it bought last year for $1.95 billion, into a a luxury condo, by Bloomberg News. The new owner of Manhattan's Waldorf Astoria said it will work with New York City officials to maintain the hotel interior's distinctive Art Deco details after preservationists raised concerns that a condominium conversion may threaten them.

September 14, 2016,, Internet Browsing Cut at LinkNYC Kiosks to Curtail Porn and Squatters, by Noah Hurowitz.

September 11, 2016,, Article about public indecency at a Wi-Fi Link kiosk, by Priscilla DeGregory and Sophia Rosenbaum.

September 10, 2016,, Facade Paneling Soon to Rise on 33-Story, 69-Unit Tower At 172 Madison Avenue, Midtown South, by Jackie Strawbridge.

September 7, 2016,, Developer pitches alternative to affordable-housing units at Chelsea project: Acuity Capital Partners offers to donate cash to affordable-housing fund, by Joe Anuta. Legislators still have the power to deny Acuity's application to change the height and bulk of the project's appearance. To appease the opposition, Acuity has offered to put money into a yet-to-be-created fund that would pay for affordable housing elsewhere in the city.

September 2, 2016,, OP-ED, Time to make a deal on 421-a: The governor's offer promises to restart rental construction. Let's nail it down, by Rafael E. Cestero. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed amendments to the 421-a property-tax exemption [offer] a subsidy to wages for workers on projects with 300 units or more. Other smaller residential projects with fewer units would move forward under the reforms to 421-a passed by the state legislature in 2015...The 421-a program was created 45 years ago under drastically different housing conditions from what the city faces today. Implemented as an economic-development tool—not an affordable-housing program—to spur market-rate housing development, it sought to stem the waves of residents leaving the city and jump-start a stalled real estate market. Its success is among the many factors contributing to the city’s incredible development.

September 1, 2016,, The Best Places In NYC To Take Your Out-Of-Town Friends & Family, by Gaby Del Valle. WHERE TO TAKE YOUR PARENTS...MORGAN LIBRARY & MUSEUM: Despite being both a regional and national historic landmark, this museum is less trafficked than the Met or the Cloisters.

September 1, 2016,, Experts predict city's midtown east rezoning plan will depress the value of air rights: Increased supply of air rights across the district will make them less valuable, by Joe Anuta.

September 1, 2016,, Exterior Completion Near For 25-Story Mixed-Use Building At 237 East 34th Street, Murray Hill, by Evan Bindelglass. Alex Forkosh is the developer and C3D Architecture is responsible for the design. When a rendering of the building was revealed in June of 2014, the plan was for a 23-story, 210-foot-tall structure. According to the latest permit, approved this year, the constructed building does stand 210 feet in height, but with 25 stories. The total square footage is listed as 97,571. The permit also lists 6,282 square feet of commercial space, and the Schedule A indicates a commercial unit on the first floor and in the cellar. Additionally, 7,002 square feet of community facility space is listed. There is 84,286 square feet of residential space…107 units.

August 31, 2016,, Dapper Serial Robber Held Up 6 Banks to Support Drug Addiction: Prosecutors, by Noah Hurowitz. MANHATTAN — A serial robber known for his rotation of fashionable hats robbed at least six Manhattan banks over a five-month span in order to feed a long-running heroin addiction…Joseph DiBenedetto, 34, of Staten Island…has been connected to robberies or attempted robberies at the following locations, according to police: Santander Bank at 250 Lexington Ave. in Murray Hill, Santander Bank at 711 Third Ave. in Midtown East...

August 31, 2016,, City hashes out plan to allow landmarked property owners in midtown east to sell air rights: The city is conducting an appraisal on the price of development rights in the district, by Joe Anuta.

August 31, 2016,, Health care union says NYU Langone plotting to cut benefits: Hospital leaders say decision to leave League of Voluntary Hospitals is not an indication that it will try to cut workers' benefits, by Caroline Lewis.

August 26, 2016,, Legend of Murray Hill Tea Party Persists 240 Years After Battle of Brooklyn, by Noah Hurowitz (Updated August 29, 2016). A little known tea party on Park Avenue and East 36th Street may have saved lives during the American Revolutionary War — if you believe the legend... Mary Lindley Murray…whose family and estate gave the current-day neighborhood of Murray Hill its name, has long been credited with hosting British commander Admiral William Howe and his men in a ploy that gave the retreating Americans a chance to escape. [Editor’s Note: You’ll hear this story and more, and see the plaque honoring Mary Lindley Murray, if you take the MHNA walking tour.]

August 26, 2016, New York Times, New York’s Disappearing Storefronts, by Jayne Merkel and Julia Wertz. …Suddenly, I saw another downside to the city’s real estate boom. It’s driving away the unique, friendly places that make living in the city worth the effort…The usually well-paying, stable jobs lost when family-owned shops close will not be replaced if chain stores with fast-changing work forces come in…It’s not just rent that’s driving these businesses out…“The tax and regulatory climate for a small business is nothing short of punishing.” I’m far from the first person to notice the rapid deterioration of the city’s street-level fabric. A writer who uses the pseudonym Jeremiah Moss has been bemoaning the problem on his blog Vanishing New York since 2007. His organization, #SaveNYC, is trying to hold back the tide through awareness and grass-roots lobbying…Mr. Moss has called for curbs on tax breaks for chain stores, laws ensuring reasonable rent increases and fines on landlords who leave their storefronts empty. He’s also pushing for a cultural preservation program, which would protect businesses that have contributed significantly to a neighborhood’s social fabric.

August 24, 2016,, City releases long-awaited plan to spur office development in midtown east: The rezoning proposal would allow taller buildings to be constructed near to Grand Central Terminal, by Joe Anuta. The city quietly published…its plan to allow bigger and more modern office towers in midtown east—the first step in the formal rezoning of the neighborhood. "This would be the highest as-of-right density allowance in the east midtown subdistrict, reflecting the [city's] planning policy of focusing density in areas with excellent access to transit," wrote the Department of City Planning in documents posted on its website.

August 10, 2016, New York Times, Owners of Grand Central Drop Lawsuit, Clearing Way for a 1,401-Foot-Tall Skyscraper, by Charles V. Bagli. The owners of Grand Central Terminal ended a long-running feud on Wednesday with the developer of a planned 1,401-foot-tall skyscraper across Vanderbilt Avenue from Grand Central in Manhattan.

August 5, 2016, New York Times, New York’s Stalled Residential Construction: Despite a building boom, some residential buildings haven’t gotten off the ground, by C.J. Hughes. Stalled projects can be found around the city, including…a 65-story spire on East 37th Street in Midtown…These projects are in limbo just as the ultraluxury market weakens and there are warnings of a coming downturn across the board…In 2015, Nef, a Turkish developer, announced plans to put up a 65-story condo at 12-14 East 37th Street, a site near Madison Avenue that now contains a pair of five-story buildings…But as it is, Nef, a six-year-old firm that partnered with B & F Management, the property’s owner, never filed for building permits, according to city records. And this past spring, the property, which has a deli and fast-food restaurants at its base and 103,000 square feet of developable space, was listed for sale with Ackman-Ziff, before being taken off the market in July.

August 4, 2016, DNAinfo, You Told Us: What's Up With Traffic Noise From the Queens Midtown Tunnel?, by Noah Hurowitz. MURRAY HILL — Neighbors of the Queens Midtown Tunnel are being driven mad by early-morning construction noise and late-night honking from cars stuck in traffic, they say, and have flooded the city with 311 complaints since work began last year.

August 3, 2016, DNAinfo, These 3 NYC Hospitals Are Among the Best in the U.S., by Nicole Levy. Three New York City hospitals have made the cut for the 20 best in America in the latest annual ranking by U.S. News and World Report. New York-Presbyterian University Hospital, NYU Langone Medical Center and Mount Sinai Hospital rank sixth, 10th and 15th respectively on the Report's 2016-2017 honor roll, out Tuesday… NYU Langone in Murray Hill ranked second in the metro area, earning particularly high scores in geriatrics and orthopedics.

July 29, 2016, New York Times, Milton Glaser Still Hearts New York, by John Leland. With photo of Milton Glaser in his studio on East 32nd Street, where he has worked since 1965. Mr. Glaser, 87, created one of the most potent designs of the last century: I ♥ NY…He said, “What you would want is more of a sense of fairness in the city.

July 26, 2016,, Campbell Apartment Lounge closing in Grand Central Terminal. Grand Central did not renew their lease.

July 26, 2016, New York Times, Zoning Arrived 100 Years Ago. It Changed New York City Forever, by David W. Dunlap.

July 20, 2016,, Extell Plans 13-Story Building for Third Ave Corner in Murray Hill, by Noah Hurowitz. Extell Development Company has filed new building plans for 499 and 501 Third Ave., leading to the closure of La Giara and the possible closure of three other businesses. The 210-foot-tall building will include 32 residential units as well as ground-floor retail…According to a manager at Cinema34 who spoke with DNAinfo last month, the bar will close at the end of July, despite having signed a two-year lease in January. And the owners of the hotel, meanwhile, filed a lawsuit in New York Supreme Court on Wednesday asking a judge to determine whether Extell’s termination of the hotel’s lease was legitimate, according to The Real Deal.

July 19, 2016, Owner of Rivergate Apts Files Plans For New Retail Building, Records Show, by Noah Hurowitz. Joseph Slifka Park is adjacent to the View 34 apartments at 401-429 E. 34th St. in Manhattan. The owner of a Murray Hill apartment complex and an adjoining privately-owned public space has filed plans for a new one-story commercial building, months after getting the OK from Community Board 6 for its plan to downsize the park, records show.

July 13, 2016,, Single-Story, 6,000-Square-Foot Retail Building Filed at 401 East 34th Street, Kips Bay, by Reid Wilson.

July 10, 2016,, 100 Totally Naked People Got Painted In Midtown NYC, by Scott Lynch. Approximately 100 people got completely naked yesterday afternoon in the middle of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza and…were transformed into works of living art.


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