City may call for an end to as-of-right hotels in light-manufacturing zones

Industry insider predicts special approvals will be needed

Rendering of McCarren Hotel in Williamsburg
Rendering of McCarren Hotel in Williamsburg

Mayor Bill de Blasio has yet to come out with his industrial policy agenda, leaving the city in suspense. But one industry insider predicts that the outcome will be an end to as-of-right hotel construction in light-manufacturing zones, along with a ban on new hotels in industrial business zones.

The described private-sector insider told Crain’s that, effectively, the policy change would require hotel developers to get some sort of waiver or special approval in order to construct hotels in light-manufacturing areas.

This would appease manufacturers, who are discouraged by the proliferation of hotels in such areas driving up land prices and encouraging industrial land-owners to sell. The Hotel Trades Council would also likely support the policy, as non-union hotels have become more and more common in manufacturing areas like Williamsburg and Long Island City.

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Finally, the City Council would benefit, as it would increase their ability to demand concessions from hotel projects.

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has been particularly vocal about wanting to preserve industrial zones for manufacturing purposes, while the owners of Industry City recently requested a zoning change so that they can build a hotel on the site. [Crain’s] — Tess Hofmann