Industrial Jobs Coalition Statement on Landmark Zoning Reform

June 06, 2024

The Industrial Jobs Coalition commends the City Council for passing the Zoning for Economic Opportunity Text Amendment, advancing equitable economic opportunity for marginalized communities. This reform protects industrial zones, limits non-compatible uses, and secures space for industrial businesses. Key provisions include restrictions on non-industrial uses, incentives for industrial activities, and a commitment to pursue tax incentives. The coalition credits City Council leaders and supportive businesses for this landmark achievement.

The Industrial Jobs Coalition salutes the City Council for the passage of the modified Zoning for Economic Opportunity Text Amendment which marks a significant victory in advancing equitable economic opportunity for marginalized and BIPOC communities through the protection and enhancement of the city's industrial zones. The IJC has long called for zoning changes to limit non-compatible uses and secure space for both existing and new industrial businesses to grow and thrive. The coalition deserves immense credit for their steadfast advocacy, which secured several crucial modifications in the text amendment:

  • Limitation on Non-Industrial Uses in the New Core District: Ensuring these areas remain dedicated to industrial activities.

  • Incentives for Industrial Uses in the New Transition District: Encouraging businesses to establish and grow their operations within these zones.

  • Commitment to Pursue Tax Incentives: Aiming to attract more industrial businesses to New York City's industrial zones.

This landmark zoning reform reflects the tireless efforts and visionary leadership of Speaker Adrienne Adams, Borough Presidents Antonio Reynoso and Donovan Richards, and the M Zone Coalition in the City Council, particularly Majority Leader  Amanda Farias, and Council Members Jennifer Gutiérrez, Sandy Nurse, Alexa Avilés, and Lincoln Restler. Their commitment to fostering economic inclusivity and industrial resilience is truly commendable.

We also deeply appreciate the insightful contributions and unwavering dedication of DCP Chairman Dan Garodnick and his team of senior planners to this initiative. Their collaborative approach has ensured that this zoning reform not only addresses current economic challenges but also lays the groundwork for a more sustainable and equitable future. The support from over 180 businesses, who signed an open letter advocating for these modifications, underscores the widespread recognition of the importance of protecting and promoting industrial uses within the city.

“This reform complements the Council's passage of the Industrial Strategy planning bill, which will facilitate the creation of comprehensive industrial plans. These plans along with these new zoning tools will allow our community and the City to better utilize industrial zones, thereby helping the city achieve its equity, supply chain, and green transition goals. The dedication of my fellow IJC delegates, all of whom volunteered their time to this effort, has been both inspiring and instrumental in bringing these critical changes to fruition,” says Jesse Solomon, Executive Director at Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation.

“Growing manufacturing businesses in NYC have been hemmed in both by zoning rules and the extraordinarily high cost of real estate. Over the past decade we have engaged with myriad stakeholders to advocate for sensible land use policies to nurture industrial growth–our perseverance has finally paid off and we are beyond gratified to see so many of our recommendations make it into the final City of Yes for Economic Opportunity Plan. These new tools will allow industrial businesses to increase the size of their facilities and add high quality jobs throughout NYC. Further, these tools will protect NYC’s industrial core areas by limiting activities that are not compatible with our goal of growing our city’s manufacturing base. We want to recognize the hard work of the Department of City Planning, Borough President Reynoso, the NYC Council (and particularly the leadership of Councilmemember Guitierrez and the M-Zone Coalition) and of course all of our colleagues in the Industrial Jobs Coalition in achieving this milestone.” - Leah Archibald, Executive Director, Evergreen

“A strong industrial sector is a crucial part of any equitable economic development strategy for New York City, and the zoning changes made today will help ensure that this sector can continue to grow and thrive, providing good-paying jobs for BIPOC, immigrant, and working class New Yorkers. ANHD is proud of the work we did alongside our members and allies in the Industrial Jobs Coalition and the Council's M-Zone Coalition to achieve this historic win. We will continue working together to apply these new tools on the ground to ensure a thriving future for our city's Industrial Business Zones,” said Emily Goldstein, Director of Organizing & Advocacy at the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development.

“The passage of the Zoning for Economic Opportunity Text Amendment is a tremendous victory for the manufacturing sector at large and industrial service advocates. By including zoning measures such as size restrictions on non-industrial uses and incentive bonuses for industrial developments, these policies will continue to ensure economic inclusivity, bolster climate resiliency efforts, and catalyze the growth of good-paying, middle-class jobs for everyday New Yorkers. GMDC is proud to have collaborated with our Industrial Jobs Coalition partners and the over 130 tenants occupying our industrial buildings, in supporting these reforms. We thank the City Council, DCP Chairman Garodnick, and the M Zone Coalition Councilmembers, for their tireless advocacy and effort in stewarding this monumental zoning framework to completion,” said Brian T. Coleman, CEO, Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center (GMDC)

“Pratt Center for Community Development has long advocated for zoning that nurtures and grows the City’s industrial sector, creating well-paying jobs for BIPOC communities while supporting the transition to a green economy. We are grateful that the City Council’s M-Zone coalition advocated for the changes that the Industrial Jobs Coalition sought to strengthen the original Zoning for Economic Opportunity proposal. We look forward to working with communities and stakeholders to map ZEO’s new zoning districts that will promote the integrity of manufacturing zoning.” - Paula Crespo, Senior Planner, Pratt Center

Looking forward, the IJC is eager to collaborate with communities and stakeholders in mapping the new Core, Transition, and Growth Districts. This collaboration will ensure that these new zoning tools effectively promote and enhance access to good-paying, middle-class jobs for every New Yorker, reinforcing the city’s commitment to economic justice and sustainable development.

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