Get the Facts
- In October 2011, State and City elected officials reached an agreement allowing for construction of a new United Nations (UN) office building on condition that $70 million be provided to support the City’s work toward completing the East River Greenway and other park improvements.
- The East River Greenway will provide increased waterfront access and needed open space on Manhattan’s East Side, which has the lowest ratio of parkland to residents and workers in the City. In addition, under the agreement Asser Levy Park (between 23rd and 25th Streets) is being upgraded, the Waterside Pier (between 38th and 41st Streets) will be renovated and opened to the public, and additional funds for the Greenway would be made available when existing UNDC office properties are refinanced or sold.
- The new building – known as the United Nations Consolidation Building, or UNCB – will be built on First Avenue between 41st and 42nd Streets, immediately south of the UN headquarters. It will be for exclusive UN use and will consolidate UN offices in efficient and modern facilities to support its work. A pedestrian tunnel will be constructed to provide direct secure access between the UN headquarters campus and the UNCB. A lease agreement is under negotiation with the UN for the building. The lease is subject to review and approval by the UN General Assembly.
- The building will feature world-class design by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Fumihiko Maki, working with distinguished New York architectural firm FXFowle. It will be designed to complement the existing UN campus, and will not be taller than the iconic Secretariat building.
- The UNCB will be a sustainable addition to the East Side, designed to the highest environmental standards and including extensive bicycle parking to encourage eco-friendly commuting.
- The public land use review process required for construction of the UNCB is now beginning. This process starts with review of environmental impacts and will include the City’s full ULURP process.
- In sum: Approval of the UNCB will allow an important New York City institution to consolidate its offices in an efficient modern building, while providing funding for needed open space improvements on the East Side.