Housing Advocates Have a Long List of Hopes for Eric Adams Administration

December 13, 2021 – Media Mention
Commercial Observer

Mitchell Korbey, chair of Herrick's Land Use & Zoning practice, spoke to the Commercial Observer about incoming New York City mayor Eric Adams and his administration's potential impact on real estate and zoning issues.

On Adams' approach to rezoning, the article noted that "[Mitch] felt that planners should be looking more closely at zoning in industrial areas throughout the five boroughs. He pointed to the industrial parts of Long Island City, for example, as ripe for a residential rezoning, as well as the Meatpacking District and the area north of Madison Square Park."

Mitch questioned, "Why are these areas zoned for manufacturing when there’s no manufacturing?"He added, "We need to strengthen those industrial business zones and manufacturing zones that are working. And we can rezone those areas that are zoned for manufacturing where there’s very little, if any, manufacturing."

Mitch also suggested upzoning industrial areas for new multistory warehouse projects, which are rare in the city. He explained, "There’s nothing between M1-4, which is 2 FAR [floor area ratio] and M1-5, which is 5 FAR … and those areas that are vital to warehousing should be rezoned for more industrial," referring to the New York zoning terms for light manufacturing areas.

The article also stated that Mitch "felt that Adams' city planning department should focus on trying to remove hurdles for office and hotel conversions to apartments. Allowing smaller apartments would help pave the way for residential conversions in hotels, for example." Mitch elaborated, "Microunits have been on the tip of planners' tongues for a long time, and they’re a very good affordable form of market-rate, affordable studio apartments[.]"

He also suggested that office conversions would be more plausible if zoning and building codes allowed living and working on the same floor.

Real the full article in Commercial Observer here. Access may require a subscription.