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Administration Misses Manufacturing Use Group Reform Deadline

October 21, 2016

Almost one year ago, the Administration and the City Council, with the support of many of us in the economic development community, announced the Industrial Action Plan, a ten-point roadmap for strengthening the industrial and manufacturing sector, a growing source of middle-class jobs and entrepreneurial opportunity for New Yorkers in all five boroughs.

The promise of use group reform remains unfulfilled.

Almost one year ago, the Administration and the City Council, with the support of many of us in the economic development community, announced the Industrial Action Plan, a ten-point roadmap for strengthening the industrial and manufacturing sector, a growing source of middle-class jobs and entrepreneurial opportunity for New Yorkers in all five boroughs. One of the most significant promises out of that plan was the development of new “safeguards against the influx of tourist hotels and personal mini-storage facilities”. Unfortunately, the Administration’s publicly stated October 15th deadline has passed, and the promise of use group reform remains unfulfilled. [pullquote]Unfortunately, the Administration’s publicly stated October 15th deadline has passed, and the promise of use group reform remains unfulfilled.[/pullquote] The rationale behind creating these safeguards is “to preserve opportunities for industrial and manufacturing businesses” and the good paying jobs they bring to NYC. But these businesses are closing because they are being priced out of the City’s little manufacturing zoned land by non-manufacturing businesses. ANHD and the Pratt Center for Community Development, along with industrial advocates from across the city, were proud to stand with the Administration when it announced it would limit hotels and “implement restrictions on personal mini-storage and household goods storage facilities in IBZs through appropriate land use controls”. However, those land use tools have yet to be announced let alone implemented. [pullquote]Those land use tools have yet to be announced let alone implemented.[/pullquote] The jobs created by industrial and manufacturing businesses provide an opportunity for economic stability and social mobility; this has been central to the discussion of industrial policy for years. As demonstrated by the Council’s 2014 Engines of Opportunity report, jobs in this sector pay more than double in annual wages than the types of jobs that are often displacing them, such as retail, restaurants, and hotels. Industrial use group reform can help the Administration, the Council, industrial advocates, and our communities in our shared goal of expanding the number of good quality jobs for lower skilled workers who so often struggle to achieve economic stability. However, the Administration’s failure to fulfill this crucial commitment may be a disappointing sign for its Industrial Action Plan and for the broader realm of policies that can help ensure greater economic stability and social mobility for all New Yorkers. While the Administration has moved forward on some of its commitments, others that are essential to the City realizing the full economic benefit of this sector remain delayed. We urge the Administration to move forward on use group reform, and we look forward to continuing to work with the Administration and the Council as we work to serve and grow the jobs and business in the industrial sector. [pullquote]We urge the Administration to move forward on use group reform, and we look forward to continuing to work with the Administration and the Council as we work to serve and grow the jobs and business in the industrial sector.[/pullquote]  

Authors: Adam Friedman, Executive Director of the Pratt Center for Community Development, and Benjamin Dulchin, Executive Director of ANHD

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