The City Council has unanimously passed a rezoning of the Garment District.
The rezoning, which passed on Thursday, removes a requirement from 1987 that says property owners in parts of the neighborhood have to preserve industrial space at a one-to-one ratio with office space when converting manufacturing buildings to different uses, according to the Commercial Observer. Landlords will now be able to convert their properties to office buildings as they see fit.
The rezoning includes new subsidy programs that aim to keep garment makers in the district, including a new Industrial Development Agency program offering tax abatements to landlords who give fashion tenants long-term affordable leases. The city will also use as much as $20 million to buy a building where fashion manufactures can lease space at below-market rents and expand a grant program for fashion manufacturers by $14 million.
“Today’s vote ensures that the Garment Center will continue to thrive as a mixed-use neighborhood—and that New York City will always be the world’s fashion capital,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.
The council also approved requiring a special permit for new hotels going up in manufacturing zones throughout the city. Hotel developers in these zones will need to get a special permit from the City Council and the City Planning Commission to move ahead with their projects.
The move will limit the amount of hotel development that can occur in industrial zones and is also seen as a way to force hotel builders use unionized labor. [CO] – Eddie Small