The Real Deal New York

City Council signals support for restricting hotel development

The measure seeks to curb hotels in industrial zones
November 01, 2018 06:30PM

Corey Johnson and Bill De Blasio with the Four Seasons Hotel at 57 East 57th Street (Credit: Getty Images)

The de Blasio administration’s plan to restrict new hotel projects may be gaining traction.

City Council leaders signaled support for the resolution that would require developers to go through a public review process before opening a hotel in light manufacturing districts, Crain’s reported. At a subcommittee hearing, the Department of City Planning argued that hotel development has pushed out other uses in industrial zones.

Council Speaker Corey Johnson voiced support for the measure, which will be put to a vote in the coming weeks, the report said. Some members, though, had concerns that the initiative would allow the creation of hotel-style homeless shelters without public review.

Developers could later convert those projects to standard hotels and use the special permit process or appeal to a land-use body that grants exceptions to the zoning code, the report said.

The move to restrict hotel development has been opposed by hotel and real estate groups, which have argued that hotels comprise only a small portion of development in industrial areas. Opponents have said the measure would hurt tourism and make it more difficult to develop lower-priced options.

According to a recent analysis by The Real Deal, there are currently about 490 million square feet are available for as-of-right hotel construction in the city. The zoning change would reduce that to 270 million square feet. Restricted from residential and medium-to-heavy manufacturing zones, hotels have historically been built mainly in commercial districts, and in light manufacturing zones to a lesser extent. [Crain’s] — Meenal Vamburkar