The Garment District may finally be the beneficiary of a rezoning that would relax rules requiring landlords to lease space in their buildings to fashion industry tenants, Crain’s has learned. The plan is the latest iteration of a proposed Bloomberg-era rezoning that contended that preserving production space for garment companies and workers no longer makes sense as those jobs continue to dry up.
According to Crain’s, the city’s plan is still in the preliminary stages and is tied to an earlier announcement that the city will incubate the fashion industry in Sunset Park through a 200,000-square-foot manufacturing hub. While particulars surrounding the current rezoning plan are few and far between, sources tell Crain’s that the rezoning would preserve the neighborhood’s manufacturing designation while not allowing for any additional density.
Self-proclaimed preservationist and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer thinks the proposal needs to go through more community outreach before moving forward, and her office is working to push back a formal introduction of the rezoning until that happens. “This is not a well thought out Made in New York strategy," Brewer said. "There are so many unknowns, and we could make a big mistake here if it isn't done properly."