Panel of Experts Reimagines East Midtown
Grand Central Partnership and Milstein Properties recently hosted “Grand Central Re-Imagined,” at 22 Vanderbilt. It featured a presentation by keynote speaker Janno Lieber, CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA); as well as a special panel that included moderator Paris Smith, head of brand for Milstein Properties; and panelists including Paul Amrich, vice chairman at CBRE; Fred Cerullo, Grand Central Partnership; and Graceanne Jordan, founder of Company You Keep Hospitality.
“East Midtown may be the most dynamic, highest value-add business district in the world, with 200,000 employees working in a 70-square-block area that’s home to 73 million square feet of commercial, residential and retail building space,” Lieber said. In addition, 16 Fortune 500 companies have their headquarters here.
The panel focused on big picture themes, including the importance of partnerships with stakeholders; how amenities for business tenants and visitors are making a difference; how community initiatives are helping and people are beginning to feel safer; how the return to office is helping the local business community; and even a backup plan for if MTA doesn’t receive the funding it requires for success and what that would look like for employees and ticket pricing.
According to Cerullo, “The overall trend of seeing residents and visitors in the Grand Central District is positive. Pedestrian activity has increased by 70% compared to 2021 and weekend activity is now higher than pre-pandemic data. This is only the beginning of a burgeoning neighborhood and business community.”