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Garment District rezoning postponed amid industry pushback

The city’s decision followed the release of a new report spearheaded by Gale Brewer

Curbed Flickr Pool/Michael Tapp

The contentious plan to rezone the Garment District in Midtown Manhattan has been put off for now, Crain’s reports. The city’s announcement followed the release of a report by the Garment District Steering Committee.

The Committee, spearheaded by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, was formed to study the impact of the proposed rezoning on manufacturers and designers who work in the area. The committee is comprised of the borough president and several other elected officials and stakeholders in the neighborhood.

They met for three months in order to create this report. They found that it was imperative, if a rezoning did take place, that it be gradually phased into the neighborhood, and also ensure the preservation of a fixed amount of space for garment manufacturing.

“Whether the administration’s garment industry plans succeed or fail is up to them: what we’ve produced is the recipe for success, and the most important ingredient is the phase-in requirement,” Brewer said in a statement.

The city seems to agree for now at least. The decision comes just days before the rezoning proposal was set to go before the City Planning Commission. The de Blasio administration’s hope is essentially that the garment district decamps to the currently under construction Made in NY Hub in Sunset Park. This would allow owners of buildings in the garment district to lease the manufacturing space as office buildings instead.

However a survey from earlier this week showed that many in the industry felt it would be a disastrous move to shift the base of the garment industry to Sunset Park. It now remains to be seen whether the de Blasio administration will take the Steering Committee’s recommendations into account and resume the rezoning process at a later date.