The Fashion Center BID is still pushing forward with its quest to rebrand and remake the Garment District into something that is not the Garment District. The Journal takes a another look at what the BID and many landlords in the neighborhood want, and at the top of their list is to get rid of the iconic button logo. Landlords want to attract tech tenants to the office space, which has cheaper rent than hipper 'hoods like Chelsea, and they want the area to be known for hotels and restaurants (of which they need more "cool" ones). "It's crazy for us to have this location in New York and have its symbol be the button, the thimble and the needle," said Tony Malkin, landlord of the Empire State Building and much more. Malkin clearly feels very strongly about a rebranding, as he's not signing any new fashion tenants in his buildings, and he said "the traditional small fashion tenant is no more."
For the rebranding to actually happen, the neighborhood first needs to be rezoned. The current zoning laws are from 1987 and dictate that half of the 9.5 million square feet in the area be used for fashion production. The BID says that only 1.5 million square feet of that is actually used for that purpose. A rezoning has been talked about for years, but the city declined a proposal to do so in 2010, likely thanks to opposition from many high-profile people, including designer Diane von Furstenberg. Will the Fashion Center BID actually have success this time?
· Sewing Up a New Image for the Garment District [WSJ]
· Garment District to Be Wiped Off the Map, Rebranded [Curbed]
· Garment District coverage [Curbed]