City Planning Commission recommends approval of Industry City rezoning
After plans for the Industry City rezoning proposal seemed possibly scrapped and Councilmember Carlos Menchaca announced in an Instagram video that he opposed the plan, the City Planning Commission is recommending that the plan be approved.
The Commission announced the recommendation following a vote that took place the morning of Wednesday, August 19.
Industry City CEO Andrew Kimball discussed the situation in a statement.
“By agreeing to update regulations that were put in place decades ago, city government will send a strong message that New York is ready to turn the corner and begin its recovery from the worst crises it has ever faced,” he said. “After considering the facts, including that the proposal will lead to the creation of 20,000 good paying jobs and generate $100 million in annual tax revenue, the City Planning Commission has now recommended that the plan be approved. We will continue to make the case for this proposal and look forward to working with the City Council and other community stakeholders as the approval process enters its final phase.”
During an interview on NY1’s Inside City Hall, Kimball discussed the situation. He said Industry City has been contacting elected officials outside the district for support, including Council Speaker Corey Johnson.
“We’re ready to get to the table,” he said during the interview. “I think that most folks in Sunset Park really care about the future, they care about jobs, they care about opportunities for their children, and they want to see growth. They think that a deal is better than no deal. And so we’re hopeful there will be leadership. But we’re also hardened that people across the city, Councilmembers like Robert Cornegy and Ritchie Torres and Donovan Richards, have stepped up and said … ‘We can’t just defer this decision. We need as a body to debate this.’”
During his statement against the rezoning plan, Menchaca said, “It is clear to me that the displacement and gentrification the city is combating today is the result of giving private developers free reign. We must learn from our mistakes and deliver what Sunset Parkers really need: stable housing, access to affordable and nutritious food, guaranteed health care and good-paying, family-sustaining jobs.”
In a letter sent to councilmembers on July 28, Kimball stated that the number of jobs at Industry City would increase to 15,000 onsite and 8,000 offsite if the rezoning were to occur.
He added that concessions have been made.
“Consequently, as per Councilmember Menchaca’s request, we agreed in a letter of September 19, 2019 to adjust our vision to more fully align with this community input, including:
- Removal of hotels from the Special Permit that we are seeking;
- Establishment of a mechanism to ensure the provision of an irreducible amount of space restricted for industrial uses within the proposed Special District;
- Establishment of a manufacturing hub managed by a mission-driven non-profit; and
- Restriction of the amount and location of retail uses within the proposed Special District.”
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