The New York City Council on Tuesday approved the biggest rezoning of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration just weeks before his term ends. In a near-unanimous vote, the Council approved plans to upzone 82 blocks of Gowanus, a former industrial hub turned affluent residential neighborhood. As the first rezoning of de Blasio’s administration in a predominantly white and wealthy neighborhood, the decision could pave the way for upzoning in similar communities, including the proposal to rezone Soho and Noho, scheduled for a vote next month.
Rendering of Timbale Terrace courtesy of Lantern Organization, Mega Development, Urban Architectural Initiatives, HPD
Nearly 600 affordable homes and a new performing arts center are planned for two sites in East Harlem, the New York City Department of Housing and Preservation announced Friday. The projects include a 330-unit residential building with a new arts center for the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance and a 250-unit development that will have an expanded East Harlem Multi-Service Center. The projects are among the first major developments under the East Harlem rezoning, which was approved in 2017.
A rendering of West Broadway in Soho, looking downtown; courtesy of City Planning Commission
A proposal to bring more affordable housing in two of the city’s wealthiest neighborhoods is moving forward. The City Planning Commission on Monday certified the application to rezone Soho and Noho, kicking off the public review process. The plan replaces existing 1970s-era zoning rules with medium- to high-density mixed-use districts that could create as many as 3,500 new homes, with 900 units of permanently affordable housing.
Rendering: FWRA LLC
Plans to rezone parts of the Flushing waterfront to make way for a 13-tower mixed-use development were approved by the New York City Council on Thursday. The approval of the zoning changes and the project, which calls for 1,725 units of housing, a hotel, offices, and retail space across 29 acres, came after elected officials reached an agreement this week with union groups SEIU 32BJ and the Hotels Trade Council to provide good-paying jobs for service workers, as well as hire public housing residents in the area.
The plan to rezone two affluent Manhattan neighborhoods will enter the public land use review process, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday. The proposed rezoning of Soho and Noho includes replacing 1970s-era zoning rules and incentivizing the creation of about 800 permanently affordable homes, part of an effort to bring affordable housing to all New York City neighborhoods, even upscale ones.
Plans to rezone Industry City in Sunset Park are dead after developers behind the project decided to withdraw their application on Tuesday. As Politico New York first reported, the decision to pull out of the plan, first proposed six years ago, comes as developers were unable to convince Brooklyn residents and officials, particularly Council Member Carlos Menchaca, the local representative, to support the rezoning efforts. Supporters of the rezoning said it would have brought thousands of new jobs to the city, which currently is seeing an unemployment rate of about 20 percent because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The plan to rezone Bushwick hit a possibly fatal roadblock Monday after city officials and local politicians failed to reach an agreement on affordable housing requirements. The city said it will not study the Bushwick Community Plan (BCP), first envisioned by the community in 2014 to address out-of-context development, as part of its proposal, effectively postponing the rezoning. After years of Bushwick residents calling for a study of the area’s growing gentrification, the city released its official rezoning plan last April. But local stakeholders and leaders, including Council Members Antonio Reynoso and Rafel Espinal Jr., said the city’s plan fell short of the vision laid out in the BCP.
A state Supreme Court judge on Thursday overturned land-use changes approved by the City Council in 2018 to rezone the neighborhood of Inwood. A group of local residents and preservationists filed a lawsuit against the rezoning last December, claiming the plan did nothing to protect the community from displacement, as well as other effects of gentrification. In the decision, Judge Verna Saunders said the city “failed to take a hard look at the relevant areas of concern identified by the public” and did not comply with a state environmental quality review.
During a Brooklyn Community Board 6 meeting on Monday night, architects, developers, and city officials revealed preliminary plans for Gowanus Green, a multi-building development on a 5.8-acre site at the corner of Smith and Fifth Streets. Once home to a gas plant, the city-owned site has been vacant for decades and was designated as a “public place” in 1974. As the Brooklyn Daily Eagle first reported, Carroll Gardens and Gowanus residents who were expecting that the site would become a park widely panned the new proposal for a series of buildings ranging from a five-story school to a 28-story residential tower.
Aerial view of the developer’s planned updates. Credit: Davis Brody Bond
Manhattan Community Board 10 voted Wednesday night against a developer’s plan that would substantially rezone the Lenox Terrace neighborhood in Central Harlem and pave the way for construction of five new 28-story luxury towers and big-box retail stores. The rezoning application, filed by the Olnick Organization, asked the city to rezone Lenox Terrace from its current residential status to the C6-2 designation found in “the central business district and regional commercial centers,” according to the city’s zoning resolution. The community board’s vote sided with the Lenox Terrace Association of Concerned Tenants (LT-ACT), which opposes the rezoning and has demanded the developer withdraw the application.