ALERT: Manhattan Community Board 6 Needs Help Opposing the Proposed Redevelopment of the former Con Ed Site on First Avenue


In the works: A massive residential and commercial development that will cut off a portion of Manhattan’s waterfront. The former Con Ed site (First Avenue between 35th and 41st streets) is about to be rebuilt. This 9-acre site is the second largest development site in Manhattan after the World Trade Center.

East River Realty Corp (ERRC), a division of the Solow Organization, wants to add 6.4 million square feet of space in six buildings that would reach up to 698 feet, or approximately 70 stories. ERRC wants 4.4 million square feet of residential space and 1.1 million square feet of commercial office space; it also wants 700,000 square feet below grade space, including 300,000 square feet for 1,559 parking spaces, 150,000 square feet of open space and 60,000 square feet of community facility space.

Why Manhattan Community Board 6 is concerned:
• Open space/waterfront access. Our community has the lowest amount of open space per capita in New York City. ERRC’s plans lack sufficient, publicly accessible open space. It will cutoff the waterfront and destroy our hopes of creating a “greenbelt” of parks and waterfront esplanades around Manhattan.
• The buildings are too big. The proposed buildings – taller even than the Trump building — are simply out of scale for this neighborhood. They would dwarf the U.N. Secretariat.
• Commercial Zoning. ERRC wants to introduce 1.1 million square feet of commercial office space into a residential neighborhood that already suffers major traffic congestion and other quality of life issues.
• Remapping 39th and 40th streets. Breaking up superblocks such as the former Con Ed site is key to revitalizing neighborhoods. ERRC wants to keep 39th and 40th streets demapped and in private hands.
• Affordable housing. This is one of the Mayor’s priorities yet ERRC offers no affordable housing.

CB6 does not oppose development — we support sensible development and we have an alternative. Our alternative, community-based plans for the Con Ed site accommodate development and community concerns. These plans – the general 197-a Plan and our specific alternative to ERRC’s rezoning proposal, the 197-c Plan – are online at Our efforts have the support and active participation of all of our elected officials and community groups.

We need you to encourage the Department of City Planning to address matters that affect the quality of life for thousands upon thousands of people who live, work, visit and travel through the area each day. At public hearings all of our elected officials and many community leaders and residents testified in support of our planning activities. But DCP still has ignored CB6’s alternative.


1. Send an e-mail to Amanda Burden, Director, Department of City Planning:
You can cut and paste the text that follows or write your own message.

Amanda Burden
Director, Department of City Planning

Dear Director Burden,

I ask you to study Manhattan Community Board 6’s 197-c Plan for the former Con Ed Site as a viable alternative as a part of your review of ERRC’s plans.
I share CB6’s concerns about this important waterfront site. I support community-based planning and believe that the City must consider community input in its planning and decision-making.
I join CB6, every elected official for the area, and so many others in the community in urging you to study the CB6 plans. Time is of the essence. Please act on this matter today.


[insert name]

2. Send a copy of your e-mail to: Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff:; Borough President Scott Stringer:, Council Member Dan Garodnick:; Council Member Jessica Lappin:; Council Member Rosie Mendez:; Congress Member Carolyn Maloney: ; Assembly Member Jonathan Bing:; Sate Senator Liz Krueger:; State Senator Tom Duane:; and Community Board 6:
To simplify matters, copy and paste the e-mail addresses as a group, right into the “CC” line of the e-mail message. Here they are ready for that purpose:,,,,,,,,,
3. Spread the word to interested colleagues, friends, and organizations by forwarding this entire message.

4. Stay involved. If you would like updates on this project, please reply to this message from CB6 – – with your name and e-mail address.

Manhattan Community Board Six
866 United Nations Plaza – Suite 308
New York, NY 10017-1977
212-319-3750 Fax 212-3772

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