Mark-Viverito wants greater protections for industrial zones

Council speaker's stance could put her at odds with de Blasio

Melissa Mark-Viverito and Sunnyside Yards in Queens
Melissa Mark-Viverito and Sunnyside Yards in Queens

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito called for increased protections to the city’s industrial and manufacturing zones in her State of the City speech today, a position that could put her at odds with Mayor Bill de Blasio, who wants to use some industrial sites for housing.

Mark-Viverito said the City Council will work to implement recommendations from a report issued last November to “protect industrial space and support growth in the city’s traditional manufacturing sectors, like furniture and ethnic food, and also nurture growing creative-sector industries,” Crain’s reported.

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Mark-Viverito noted that she looks forward to New York City becoming home to the next Etsy or MakerBot, and that manufacturing jobs are gateways to the middle class for many.

De Blasio, on the other hand, has been looking for ways to add housing to the city’s 21 industrial business zones. In his State of the City speech, he raised this point, saying, “Now, there are some places in our city that have not yet been developed or zoned for housing but could be… And by taking steps like adding residential buildings to former manufacturing sites — or adding some six- to eight-story buildings in appropriate places — we could make a fundamental difference in neighborhoods’ affordability.” [Crain’s] — Tess Hofmann