In 2016, the mayor and city officials committed to doubling the manufacturing capacity of the East New York Industrial Business Zone, which they say would help create 3,900 local jobs there. But five years later, neighborhood leaders say the area has stagnated.
Opponents argued to councilmembers that the plan to add about 3,000 new units and change land use rules in a 56-block swath of Lower Manhattan would incentivize demolition to make way for luxury housing, usher in big box retail and forever alter the artistic character of the iconic SoHo and NoHo neighborhoods.
Councilmembers Brad Lander and Stephen Levin had both previously expressed support for the plan, but said their ultimate approval depended on the city committing to repairs at the Gowanus and Wyckoff Gardens Houses.
Adi Talwar, Daniel Parra and Ese Olumhense |
According to the United Auto Merchants Association (UAMA), a nonprofit trade group, between 35 and 40 auto and auto-related businesses on Jerome Avenue have been displaced since the city’s 2018 rezoning of the corridor, and around 150 still operate.
Daniel Parra and Ese Olumhense |
As part of the 2018 Jerome Avenue rezoning deal, city officials committed $1.5 million in financial assistance for area merchants, intended to help relocate existing businesses that would be displaced. But officials have yet to issue any such grants, a City Limits investigation found.
The CPC voted 9-0 in favor of the proposal, which would pave the way for roughly 8,200 new apartments by 2035. The plan will now head to the City Council for final binding vote within the next 50 days.
Five weeks after the local community board rejected the city’s application to rezone a 56-block stretch of the two wealthy neighborhoods, Brewer said the current plan leaves many issues unresolved—though she hasn’t ruled out backing a revised plan.