East Midtown Rezoning FAQ

What is the East Midtown Rezoning?
The city aims to spur the development of sixteen to thirty large commercial buildings in East Midtown. Under the proposed rezoning, developers would be allowed to build taller buildings, if they contribute to a public improvement fund that will be used for upgrades to public transportation and public spaces.

What does ‘rezoning’ mean?
The city has rules for what can be built on every bit of land in the City. Rezoning changes the rules for what can be built on a piece of land or a neighborhood. In East Midtown, the goal of the rezoning is to build bigger commercial buildings.

This rezoning has to go through a public process and will be voted on by the New York City Council in July.

What is the area being rezoned?
The City is planning to rezone a 78-block area of East Midtown, from 39th Street to 57th Street between 5th Avenue and 3rd Avenue.

How will I and other 32BJ members be affected?
Many older and smaller buildings could be demolished over the next 20 years to give way to 16 to 40 new, larger office buildings. Many of these buildings are where 32BJ members work as cleaners and/or security officers. As union buildings close down for renovation or redevelopment, 32BJ members will be displaced.

When will all these changes happen?
These changes could take a long time. The city thinks it will take about 20 years for these changes to happen. We do not expect all of the existing buildings to be torn down right away and all of the new buildings to start construction right away.

But, we could start seeing changes happening in individual union buildings soon, as tenants move our and buildings close.

What can we do protect the jobs of 32BJ members who work in the buildings being rezoned?
We have until July, when the City Council is expected to vote on this plan, to weigh in with elected officials and developers. This is our chance to shape the plan and make sure protecting our jobs and creating good jobs is part of the plan.

There are already protections in some of our contracts. We are starting conversations with the owners now to push for job protections and commitments for good jobs.

Will the building service jobs in the new buildings be good, union jobs?
While the plan is going through the approval process, we are asking owners to commit to creating good, union jobs in cleaning and security in the new buildings.

How can I get involved?
The public review process is happening now until the end of July. Decisions being made now will shape the next 20 years of development in East Midtown. We need to be at every public hearing calling on developers to protect and create good jobs

Talk to your shop steward or union rep about signing the 32BJ good jobs petition and coming to rallies and public hearings. It is important that you and your