City clamping down on hotel projects in M1 districts

Special permit required for new lodgings in areas zoned for manufacturing
November 03, 2015 04:20PM

Could the Bushwick hotel boom be over? Hotel developers are about to find their jobs a little bit tougher after the de Blasio administration and City Council reached an agreement on zoning changes that would limit new hotels in Industrial Business Zones.

The agreement is part of a larger plan to grow the city’s manufacturing and industrial center and comes as hotel development has become increasingly common in areas of the city zoned for industrial use.

While those districts — including areas zoned M1 for light manufacturing uses — were created to boost the city’s manufacturing industry, they have also permitted hotel to be built as-of-right, according to the New York Observer.

That has spurred a surge in hotel development, particularly in outer borough neighborhoods like Bushwick and Long Island City, in recent years.

But the mayor’s office and the Council said they will create a new special permit that will be required before any new hotels can be built into those light manufacturing districts, and will also put restrictions on mini-storage facilities that they say don’t create as many jobs as other uses.

“We’re big believers in supporting our tourism sector,” Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen said. “But while hotels can open in almost any commercial area, these core industrial areas have unique assets that manufacturing firms can’t find anywhere else.”

The new rules won’t apply in the areas surrounding John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, however; hotels won’t need a special permit because they serve airport-related businesses, the city said. [NYO]Rey Mashayekhi