Hotel union rallies for special-permit provision in rezoning plan

From left: Sam Chang and John Lam
From left: Sam Chang and John Lam

Hotel developers would be forced to get a special permit for any project in Midtown East if a push by a labor union succeeds, Crain’s reported.

The New York Hotel Trades Council, which represents hospitality workers, wants the city to include the special permit provision in its Midtown East rezoning plan so that non-union hotels can’t come in to the area.


A Department of Buildings seven-month-long review of the proposal, which covers 78 blocks, is just getting underway. The City Council has until the fall to decide on the rezoning, proposed by the Bloomberg administration, Crain’s said.

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Rezonings of North Tribeca, the fur district and Hudson Square already require developers to get the special permit.

Most developers support the union — 90 percent of the 7,500 workers at the 29 hotels in Midtown East are members of the Trade Council — but a handful of key players remain neutral. Major developers of non-union hotels include the Lam Group and McSam Hotel Group head Sam Chang, the newspaper said.

“Hotels are a 24-hour-a-day operation, distinct from commercial or residential uses,” said Councilman Daniel Garodnick in a statement. “We need to treat them differently, and that is what this special permit achieves.” [Crain’s]Mark Maurer



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