City’s planned Garment District rezoning will reduce protections for fashion companies

Posted On Tue, February 28, 2017 By

Posted On Tue, February 28, 2017 By In Midtown West, Policy

Just two weeks after the city announced that they’d spend $136 million to create the “Made in NYC Campus,” a hub in Sunset Park that will provide affordable space for film and fashion companies, it’s come to light that the de Blasio administration has been planning a rezoning of Manhattan’s Garment District. As Crain’s explains, this could potentially roll back rules that require landlords to rent a portion of their buildings to fashion companies, a clear push to drive these businesses toward lower cost space in Sunset Park.

6sqft recently explored how Sunset Park has become the new frontier for the city’s garment industry, thanks to “several industrial conversions [that] offer cheaper rents, better equipped real estate, and a creative, collaborative community.” The 200,000-square-foot Made in New York Campus piggy-backed on this trend as a way to help Garment District tenants find more affordable space, since the business’ longtime home, centered in the area bound by 5th/9th Avenues and 35th/41st Streets, “has fallen victim not only to national trends of work being shipped overseas, but local issues like rising rents, outdated facilities, and competition from tech and media companies.”

According to Crain’s, the de Blasio administration will file an official rezoning application in early April. Sources say it will preserve the current manufacturing zoning without adding any density.

The Bloomberg administration attempted a similar rezoning in 2009, but they dropped the plan following much opposition. Similarly, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, who recently had a meeting with the Development Corporation, is not happy with the plan’s lack of community outreach. “This is not a well thought out Made in New York strategy. There are so many unknowns, and we could make a big mistake here if it isn’t done properly,” she said, noting that she wants to see the protections kept intact in Manhattan since the Sunset Park campus won’t be complete until 2020.

A spokeswoman from the Development Corp. said in response, “This administration is deeply committed to protecting and supporting garment manufacturing across the city. We’re working closely with industry stakeholders to ensure New York City remains a global hub of fashion and strengthening local garment manufacturing is central to that effort.”

[Via Crain’s]

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Lead image via Wally Gobetz/Flickr

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Neighborhoods : Garment District,Midtown West

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