Midtown South and Atlantic Avenue Mixed-Use Plans Progress Report

November 14, 2023

In addition to citywide rezonings such as City of Yes (for Economic Opportunity, for Housing Opportunity and for Carbon Neutrality), the City is in the initial stages of advancing neighborhood-specific rezonings in areas such as Midtown South in Manhattan and the Atlantic Avenue corridor in Brooklyn. As with the Gowanus Neighborhood Mixed Income Housing Development Program, Herrick’s Land Use & Zoning and Affordable Housing & Community Development teams monitor these efforts at an early stage and advise clients accordingly.

Midtown South Mixed-Use Plan (MSMX)

Scope: MSMX encompasses 42 blocks across Midtown South. The boundaries of the plan include West 40th Street to the north, West 23rd Street to the south, Fifth Avenue to the east, and Eighth Avenue to the west.

Challenges and Opportunities: Midtown South is challenged by an outdated building stock and changing work patterns. Hybrid work options have decreased demand for commercial office space, particularly in Class B and C commercial buildings.

While the City of Yes zoning text amendment proposal would enable more housing in every neighborhood, further change to the zoning rules would be needed to facilitate residential development—including affordable housing—to Midtown South without.

Objectives: MSMX seeks to foster 24/7 mixed-use neighborhoods including through the creation of more housing. The City administration has indicated as many as 20,000 new residential units could be created with this plan. Midtown South’s central location, excellent transit access and proximity to jobs means changes to its existing M1-6 (light manufacturing) zoning could present commercial-to-residential conversion opportunities. You can learn more about the repositioning of real estate assets from Herrick partner Patrick O’Sullivan here.

Timeline: DCP is actively seeking public input on MSMX via a survey through year’s end. MSMX will continue to move through the engagement and proposal development stages, after which draft recommendations will be presented at a town hall meeting in 2024, a draft plan will be released, and the ULURP process will begin.

Atlantic Avenue Mixed-Use Plan (AAMUP)

Scope: AAMUP (pronounced “aim up”) encompasses an approximately 13-block stretch of Atlantic Avenue and neighboring blocks of Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant between Vanderbilt and Nostrand Avenue. This important corridor connects Downtown Brooklyn to Queens and Long Island.

Challenges and Opportunities: The Atlantic Avenue corridor is challenged by antiquated zoning that does not sufficiently provide for housing nor allow for commercial development that would attract new jobs. AAMUP looks to capitalize on transit and other neighborhood assets to facilitate a vibrant, mixed-use Central Brooklyn.

Objectives: Building on nearly a decade of planning work by Brooklyn’s Community Board 8, AAMUP seeks to create both affordable housing and job growth. The plan will likely include zoning districts with a combination of Residential (R), Commercial (C) and Manufacturing (M), as well as a combination of high density (up to 185 feet) and moderate density (up to 125 feet). This could facilitate the creation of up to 4,000 new residential units, many of which would have income-restricted rents through Mandatory Inclusionary Housing

Timeline: DCP has released a draft zoning proposal for AAMUP. This is currently undergoing advance draft planning and environmental review analyses, after which the ULURP process will begin.

We will continue to diligently monitor these plans, including in the context of efforts to re-envision manufacturing and commercial areas across the City via updates to the zoning code. We will provide updates as more details emerge.

For more information on this issue or other land use & zoning matters, please contact:

Mitchell A. Korbey at +1 212 592 1483 or [email protected]
Patrick J. O'Sullivan, Jr. at 212 592 1503 or [email protected]
Robert Huberman at +1 212 592 1592 or [email protected]
Joshua D. Koss at +1 212 592 5948 or [email protected]

© 2023 Herrick, Feinstein LLP. This alert is provided by Herrick, Feinstein LLP to keep its clients and other interested parties informed of current legal developments that may affect or otherwise be of interest to them. The information is not intended as legal advice or legal opinion and should not be construed as such.