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Old Posted Aug 17, 2023, 4:08 PM
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Smile NEW YORK | South Midtown Rezoning

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/08/17/n...g-housing.html

New York Plans to Open Parts of Midtown Manhattan to Housing
Mayor Eric Adams announced plans to rezone manufacturing areas south of Times Square and allow more office buildings to be converted to housing.



By Mihir Zaveri
Aug. 17, 2023


Quote:
New York City officials announced plans on Thursday to ease the conversion of office buildings to housing and open manufacturing areas south of Times Square to new residential development, as part of a broader push to reinvent the struggling business district in Midtown Manhattan and address the city’s housing crisis.

The plans, outlined by Mayor Eric Adams at a news conference in a vacant office building, would allow for more housing to be built by rezoning manufacturing areas between 23rd Street and 40th Street from Fifth Avenue to Eighth Avenue.

A separate plan could allow for 20,000 new homes in former office spaces around the city, the city estimates.
Quote:
Both plans would require City Council approval, which is expected to happen some time next year.

Together, the plans address two of New York City’s most urgent problems: dealing with a housing crisis and rebuilding its economic power after the pandemic pushed a growing number of residents toward working from home.

“The world has changed,” Mr. Adams said. “We have to be willing to change with it.”

Office conversions seem intuitive: Many office buildings are losing tenants, even as demand for a limited supply of housing has sent rents skyrocketing. But conversions have not taken place in meaningful numbers in the city. One problem is a morass of regulations and restrictions over what kinds of buildings can be converted, while another problem is the cost.
Quote:
The plans announced by the mayor on Thursday address the former problem by allowing buildings that were built as recently as 1990 to convert to housing; currently, only buildings built before 1977 or 1961 are eligible, depending on the area. The city would also allow buildings to convert to housing anywhere in the city if the zoning regulations allow for residential.

But they do not address the funding issue, and it is not clear how many building owners or developers will be eager to move forward without financial incentives in the form of tax breaks or subsidies.

The rezoning of Midtown may also prove contentious among some city residents, even though the plan has the support of two local Council members, Erik Bottcher and Keith Powers, who appeared alongside the mayor on Thursday.

Currently, no new housing is allowed in the target area, city officials said.
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Old Posted Aug 17, 2023, 4:14 PM
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https://commercialobserver.com/2023/...l-conversions/

Adams, Frustrated With State Legislators, Advances Office-to-Residential Conversions


BY MARK HALLUM
AUGUST 17, 2023


Quote:
….. Action from the state will still be needed for the Adams plan to reach its full potential, however, with a lift on the 12 floor area ratio (FAR) cap and a tax incentive for housing developers like 421a.

Adams will focus on Manhattan by introducing the Midtown South Mixed-Use Neighborhood Plan, which will update the zoning between 23rd Street and 40th Street from Fifth Avenue to Eighth Avenue. It will ditch the century-old policy that only allows manufacturing uses, as well as a 2018 rezoning to allow for more office.
Quote:
The plan means that 136 million square feet of office could potentially be converted into housing, according to the Adams administration.

“Now it’s time for our partners in state government to follow suit by matching the year eligibility to 1990, eliminating the 12 FAR cap, creating a tax incentive program and authorizing additional housing initiatives to keep this momentum going,” Carlo Scissura, CEO of the New York Building Congress, said in a statement.

Public engagement with the proposal will begin this fall and wrap up in early 2024.


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Old Posted Aug 17, 2023, 8:28 PM
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And where are all those offices going?
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Old Posted Aug 17, 2023, 9:16 PM
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https://www.nyc.gov/site/planning/pl...-overview.page

Midtown South Mixed-Use Plan






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Midtown South Mixed-Use Plan
Aerial view of Midtown South Mixed-Use
The Midtown South Mixed-Use Plan (MSMX) will focus on Manhattan’s Midtown South manufacturing districts and strategies to foster a more vibrant, 24/7 mixed-use neighborhood. The study area is a job- and amenity-rich neighborhood where new housing is not permitted under today’s zoning rules.

The plan will explore:

-Introducing housing, including permanently affordable housing

-Potential for office-to-residential conversions

-Preservation of important commercial and light manufacturing uses

-Investments in neighborhood improvements

Over the coming year, the Department of City Planning (NYC Planning) will work with the local community on a plan to ensure Midtown South’s future success.

Study Area Map

The study area covers roughly 42 blocks designated for manufacturing almost half a century ago. The general boundaries are West 40th Street to the north, West 23rd Street to the south, Fifth Avenue to the east, and Eighth Avenue to the west.
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Old Posted Aug 18, 2023, 2:55 AM
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Great news, and long overdue.

There will be a number of major new residential towers rising in this portion of Midtown, and many of the old garment buildings will be converted to new housing.
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Old Posted Aug 18, 2023, 7:52 PM
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For some clarity, a look at the 4 specific target areas of the plan…



























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Old Posted Aug 19, 2023, 2:38 PM
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Quote:
The plan means 136 million square feet of office space could potentially be converted to housing, according to the Adams administration.
Well, so where are these 136 million square feet of office space going to be moved?

Quote:
-Introduction of housing, including permanently affordable housing.
Well then Hochul will stop forcing developers to build affordable housing. With all that space at your disposal, you could build thousands of these affordable housings.
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Old Posted Aug 19, 2023, 3:22 PM
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this is very good news and publicity to get going.

nyc is slow on the draw for encouraging these conversions.

although i understand some hesitancy, this is midtown after all.

but yeah post covid its a new era, time to move it forward.

goodbye for good old garment/flower district.

just make sure there is wfh office room in them, that’s the modern schmatta work.
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  #9  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2023, 5:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Sky88 View Post
Well, so where are these 136 million square feet of office space going to be moved?
What are you talking about? It’s not being moved anywhere.



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Originally Posted by mrnyc View Post
this is very good news and publicity to get going.

nyc is slow on the draw for encouraging these conversions.

although i understand some hesitancy, this is midtown after all.
New York is slow to get a lot if things going. Too many politicians involved, and they’re terrified of the NIMBYs. To be fair, Hochul and Adams have tried to get things done (Hochul tried to lift the residential FAR of 12 and force municipalities to build more housing, but the state legislators were terrified of both. Adams meanwhile is trying to turn New York into the “City of Yes”, but good luck with that council).

Meanwhile, these areas targeted for the rezoning are the small-scale old office buildings which are the least desirable of office space, and aren’t really in the heart of any of the business districts. Somewhere down the line they would have been subject to a rezoning regardless of the state of the office market.

Now comes the fun with the Council and the NIMBYs. It will be interesting to see how these people who have been screaming for more housing to be built manage to turn the argument against this.
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Old Posted Aug 20, 2023, 2:32 PM
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I'm talking about the fact that the tenants who work in office buildings today will have to move out when and if the office buildings are converted from office to residence. And since that's 136 million square feet of office space...
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Old Posted Aug 20, 2023, 3:14 PM
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All the statement means is that in theory the rezoning would create the possibility of residential conversion of up to 136 million square feet of commercial office space in existing office buildings whether currently occupied or vacant. That number is the ceiling, obviously the amount that will actually undergo conversion is but a fraction of that.
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Old Posted Aug 21, 2023, 5:28 PM
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I'm talking about the fact that the tenants who work in office buildings today will have to move out when and if the office buildings are converted from office to residence. And since that's 136 million square feet of office space...
That’s the entire issue - lack of tenants for those aging buildings. They want to put those buildings to use by allowing for residential conversion, as well as allowing new construction. There are businesses that rely on the foot traffic. Mixed-use is the model cities use today to bring dead districts back to life. Sometimes the zoning has to change with the times.
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Old Posted Aug 21, 2023, 5:36 PM
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Most of the converted space will be in older garment buildings. Essentially vertical factory buildings. They aren't going to be converting Class A Midtown space.

Also, the Garment District has a lot of potential development sites that couldn't previously be redeveloped due to zoning restrictions. There will be a number of new residential towers.
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Old Posted Aug 21, 2023, 7:04 PM
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Regarding the Garment District, I do sincerely hope the city has the sense to make sure a new wave of new residential construction does not come in the streetwall damaging form of the econobox hotel tower boom that has really done a great deal of aesthetic harm to the West 20s-30s. I would imagine residential projects would likely be better designed than the McSam nightmares that follow the lowest common DOB code denominator and set back a single maximum height shaft behind a courtyard or single story lobby flanked by the charm of half destroyed masonry party walls of older structures that were never intended to be exposed. The DOB setback requirements can be navigated by those with imagination and when it comes down to it, care, something the chain hotel developers know nothing of.
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Old Posted Aug 21, 2023, 8:16 PM
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^ The goodcthing is that hotels themselves now have to go through ULURP. Any new residential development would likely have to conform to current zoning standards for residenial buildings. One thing I’m grateful of is the fact won’t see residential towers with large parking podiums in Manhattan. The skyscraper gods are kind. But while the city is making an effort, the state legislature needs to get it’s act together.
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Old Posted Aug 22, 2023, 5:09 PM
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The garment district and flower district are ripe for rezoning.. mixed use commercial and residential towers.

As for Adams looking at NoMad.. NoMad is a historic district.. it's had a few developments, both residential and hotel, but a complete rezoning will be totally wrong for that area, especially Broadway between 25th and 29th Street. I'm sure there will be a big time push back to stop it.

Last edited by TonyNYC; Aug 22, 2023 at 7:09 PM.
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Old Posted Oct 27, 2023, 12:40 AM
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CB5 discussion...


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Old Posted Mar 9, 2024, 4:30 AM
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https://citylimits.org/2024/03/08/ci...midtown-south/

City Unveils Draft Zoning Plan to Spur 4K New Homes in Midtown South
The draft plan marks the first step toward a formal land use proposal from the city for 42 Manhattan blocks where housing is currently restricted






By Chris Janaro.
March 8, 2024


Quote:
The New York Department of City Planning (DCP) unveiled its draft zoning plan for Midtown South Friday, marking the first step toward a formal land use proposal for 42 Manhattan blocks where housing is currently restricted.

The draft plan, informed by six months of community input from various stakeholders, hopes to create nearly 4,000 new homes in four “quadrants” located between 23rd and 40th streets and 5th and 8th avenues. Between 800 and 1,110 of the new units would be income-restricted, roughly 25 percent—a move to address the city’s pressing need for affording housing.

“This centrally-located, transit-rich area should be one of the most exciting, vibrant areas of the city, but outdated zoning is holding it back. Thanks to this community-focused planning approach, the future of Midtown South is looking bright,” said City Planning Director Daniel Garodnick in a news release accompanying the proposal.

In a statement, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine expressed support for the plan, emphasizing its potential to breathe new life into the neighborhood, which is home to an aging building stock and office and retail vacancies exacerbated by “shifting work patterns,” since the pandemic, the city said.

“The Midtown South Mixed-Use Plan will not only build housing that our city desperately needs, but it will also reinvigorate some of Manhattan’s most central, opportunity-rich neighborhoods,” Levine commented.
Quote:
The draft plan outlines high-density, mixed-use zoning districts to accommodate a range of residential, commercial, and manufacturing uses, but would ensure new developments complement the existing “loft character of the neighborhood,” according to a press release.

Officials say even more income-restricted housing could be created in the area if combined with one of the benefits of Mayor Eric Adams’ City of Yes for Housing Opportunity, which proposes a “Universal Affordability Preference” in medium- and high-density districts like Midtown South. It would enable developers to add 20 percent more housing to a project if those additional units are permanently affordable.


https://commercialobserver.com/2024/...t-zoning-plan/

Midtown South Rezoning Could Clear the Way for 4,000 New Homes


BY ABIGAIL NEHRING
MARCH 8, 2024


Quote:
New York City planning officials want to breathe new life into a 42-block area of Midtown South — and add thousands of homes to the primarily commercial neighborhood in the process.

The Department of City Planning (DCP) unveiled a draft zoning plan Friday that would allow for taller, mixed-use buildings in a swath of aging multistory lofts between Fifth and Eighth avenues.

The Midtown South Mixed-Use zoning plan could create nearly 4,000 new homes, with about a quarter of them income-restricted thanks to Mandatory Inclusionary Housing requirements DCP wants to add to the city’s zoning map, according to the agency.

“This centrally located, transit-rich area should be one of the most exciting, vibrant areas of the city, but outdated zoning is holding it back,” DCP Director Dan Garodnick said in a statement. “Thanks to this community-focused planning approach, the future of Midtown South is looking bright.”

The new zoning would be a big switch for Midtown South, which primarily has been an office hub governed by rules that prevent building new homes in the neighborhood.

A tech boom in New York City drove growth in Midtown South in the decade before the pandemic, giving the neighborhood the short-lived moniker “Silicon Alley.” But waning demand for office space and a pullback from the tech sector have taken a heavy toll, and an aging building stock dominated by exceptionally large floor plates poses particular challenges.

DCP’s plan covers four areas between West 23rd and West 40th streets that are currently home to about 7,000 businesses, the agency estimated. Current zoning rules prevent developers from adding new housing or converting buildings to residential use.

The agency’s plan will make that easier by adding new high-density, mixed-use zoning districts that allow for manufacturing, commercial and residential uses.
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Last edited by NYguy; Mar 9, 2024 at 4:40 AM.
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Old Posted Mar 9, 2024, 4:33 AM
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Old Posted Mar 9, 2024, 9:30 PM
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https://therealdeal.com/new-york/202...outh-rezoning/

The city wants more Midtown housing. Will the state allow it?
Rezoning can bring 4,000 more units to the neighborhood



MAR 8, 2024
By Kathryn Brenzel


Quote:
Thousands of homes are planned for Midtown South. “Planned” is the operative word.

The Department of City Planning on Thursday night detailed its vision for rezoning 42 blocks in the neighborhood, allowing housing to be built in areas zoned for manufacturing. If these changes are approved, the city estimates that 3,970 new housing units, of which 789 to 1,144 would be income-restricted, could be built over the next 10 years.

Of course, the pace and volume of construction would hinge on whether the state legislature replaces the expired property tax break 421a. Affordable housing built as part of this plan would adhere to the city’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program, which was designed to work in tandem with the tax incentive.

Developers have warned that building multifamily housing without the tax break is financially not feasible. A majority of the estimated housing units in the plan would result from ground-up construction, according to City Planning.
Quote:
The rezoning would allow residential space with a floor area ratio of up to 12 (meaning, the square footage of the housing is 12 times the size of the lot). That’s the maximum density permitted under state law, but Gov. Kathy Hochul has been pushing to lift this cap as part of the state budget.

Doing so would allow the city to rezone areas to allow for more residential space and to convert more offices into housing. Many office buildings exceed an FAR of 12, so they cannot be fully converted into housing under current law.

With a few exceptions, office buildings constructed after 1961 in the city cannot be converted into housing. That threshold would be bumped to 1990 as part of the City of Yes for Housing Opportunity text amendment.
Quote:
But that doesn’t seem to be the main obstacle for the class B and C offices in Midtown South, 89 percent which were built before 1961. The FAR cap also would not serve as a barrier for these buildings.

While such office buildings could be converted, owners have said the complicated nature of turning office space into housing makes these projects unlikely to pencil out. The state is also considering a tax incentive for developers who convert office space into housing, which would require at least 20 percent of units to be set aside as affordable.

The Adams administration has estimated that policy changes at the city and state level could lead to the conversion of office space into 20,000 units of housing over the next decade.

It was not immediately clear how many of the nearly 4,000 residential units would be built as a result of office conversions versus ground-up construction. A representative for City Planning could not immediately provide a breakdown.
Quote:
Ground-up construction would rely on 421a, while conversions would rely on the incentive. State budget negotiations are expected to heat up in the coming weeks, ahead of the April 1 deadline.

The rezoning plan can, however, likely count on backing from local Council members Keith Powers and Erik Bottcher, who both commended the plan’s aim of creating a 24/7, live-work neighborhood. Their support will be key when the plan goes through the city’s land use review process.
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