Kimball previews case for Industry City rezoning ahead of public hearing

September 14, 2020 Jaime DeJesus
Kimball previews case for Industry City rezoning ahead of public hearing
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As Industry City gears up for a public hearing on its rezoning proposal before the City Council, CEO Andrew Kimball held a press conference outlining the plan via Zoom on Sept. 14.

The hearing is Tuesday, Sept. 15

“When investment and job creation are needed in New York City more than ever, approval of this plan will boost the economy and send a message to business that New York City is open,” said Kimball. “It also sends the message that the New York City Council is willing to take on the difficult issues and that the process others tried to avoid, namely ULURP, can actually work.”

According to Industry City, the proposal will create 20,000 jobs, generate $100 million annually in tax revenue without government expenditure, and increase total usable space from 5.3 to 6.6 million square feet.

Kimball said current zoning regulations for the space are outdated, having been put in place more than 60 years ago.

“The current zoning was meant to ensure that smokestacks and other noxious uses stay tucked away from the shore and where other people live,” Kimball said. “We’re seeking to eliminate the most noxious uses.”

According to Industry City, the plan has evolved based on feedback received during extensive community engagement programs. Dorms were originally part of the plan to compliment colleges and universities that may move to the area, but were removed. Hotels will also be removed from the plan at the request of local elected officials and the amount of local retail will be reduced.

“Substantial portions of the newly allowed space can only be built on the agreed upon targets that are to be reached,” said Kimball.

Kimball also spoke about the concerns of Sunset Park residents who fear that they will be displaced as a result of the rezoning plan.

“There is no indication that the investment to date, which has been substantial – $400 million and 8,000 jobs created – has had an impact on gentrification in Sunset Park,” he said. “The cost of living has gone up, but in the same trajectory, so there’s no spike once we started investing [in IC] in 2014.

“Gentrification is a real issue in New York City that needs to be tackled by our leaders. The answer isn’t slowing down jobs.”

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