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DeBlasio: Hotels are killing industrial jobs — and my new rules will bring them back

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There is no room for the inn!

Hotels pushed job-creating factories out of Williamsburg, claims Mayor DeBlasio, and now he is erecting bureaucratic barriers will make it harder for developers to open them in other industrial areas.

“In the space of just a few years, businesses supporting thousands of jobs were lost to developers,” said DeBlasio said at a press conference announcing his new plans on Tuesday. “We have to stop that kind of undermining of our industrial businesses, and this plan will end that negative trend.”

Under Hizzoner’s scheme, developers will have to obtain a special permit to build hotels as well as self-storage facilities in the city’s so-called Industrial Business Zones — designated areas that are intended for what it says on the tin, which include the Brooklyn Navy Yard, around Avenue D in Canarsie, the Sunset Park and Red Hook waterfronts, the Newtown Creek side of Greenpoint and Williamsburg, and the land between McCarren Park and the waterfront in Williamsburg.

Currently, hoteliers and storage companies can open outposts in the zones with minimal red tape, and the mayor claims those businesses are pricing out industrial companies, who then leave the city seeking cheaper real estate elsewhere.

Nabbing a special permits requires community consultation and the approval of the Council, which just last year released a report slamming the effect the lax laws have had on Williamsburg’s industrial zone in particular. The area was 100-percent blue collar a decade ago, but is now filled with the boutique hotels, hip nightclubs, and retail stores — which create far fewer jobs and offer lower wages, it said.

DeBlasio claims his plan — which the city planning department still needs to okay — will create 20,000 manufacturing jobs around the five boroughs.

Industrial businesses say they do indeed still want the buildings, they just can’t compete on price. One industry honcho said his company recently lost out on a plot of land to a mini-storage outfit with more money, and he is optimistic the new policy will help prevent this happening again in the future.

“The initiatives will go a long way to help us accomplish our goals,” said Brian Coleman, chief executive of the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center, which renovates derelict factories rents space in them to small manufacturers.

But the new restrictions may not go far enough — developers will still be able to build retail and office spaces in industrial zones without a permit, and may still out-bid factories for the land, said a real estate expert.

“I don’t think the market is going to drop off that much, but it does eliminate two large buyer pools,” said Jim McGuckin, who specializes in industrial properties for brokerage Marcus and Millichap.

DeBlasio’s proposal does attempt to address the industry’s need for funds, however — he is pledging to create a $150 million loan and grant fund for fledgling industrial businesses and a new manufacturing center to house start-ups, while his current capital plan assigns hundreds of millions for building new properties in the Navy Yard, Brooklyn Army Terminal, and Sunset Park.

Reach reporter Allegra Hobbs at ahobbs@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8312.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Joe Eccolo from Flatbush says:
May be the mayor would rather have some of these properties become empty and decaying. Developers are not chasing manufacturing out of the city, overhead is casing them to look elsewhere. Maybe the mayor feels that hotels don't employ people. Hotels bring tourist into the outer boroughs and tourist spend money. You think. Sorry, maybe he wants to save the tourist dollars for Manhattan. If we ever had a mayor for some of the people he is it.
Nov. 5, 2015, 11:01 am
TOM from Sunset Park says:
Yes, hotels do provide good-paying jobs to locals but then the City steps in and installs a men's shelter. Goodbye private sector jobs. Hello unemployment.
Nov. 5, 2015, 11:41 am
MJ from Bay Ridge says:
there's many emptied warehouses and manufacturing spaces in Brooklyn. They left many years ago because of lower labor and living costs elsewhere. Not because of hotels taking over manufacturing spaces.
Nov. 5, 2015, 11:46 am
MJ from Bay Ridge says:
TOM> I agree, the city's new policy of putting homeless into nice hotel rooms will attracting homeless people outside to NYC to come here, so even more homelesses.
Nov. 5, 2015, 11:48 am
to Joe Ecc... from info@theSo.BIZ says:
A smart guy once said, there's a place for everything an everything in it's place.

While we certainly need places for people to live, we obviously have more people than what fits. Something they call OVERPOPULATION which is the last thing we should be supporting.

And as a manufacturer serving my core/only market in NYC, it costs me more to leave the city than to go to NJ, as everything would have to come back here anyway. This is putting aside all the extra trucks, time, bridge/tunnel tolls, fuel, pollution, etc it would take to get it here.

But your right though, it's not the developers fault as they are only going for the highest use. It's not their fault they were born without imaginations, can't build things other than boxes and sardine cans, and only know how to count dollar bills.

The problem is POLICY and that's what the city needs to change. And that's what this new bill is about - protecting our manufacturers and infrastructure - the infrastructure that serves our local communities including the HOTELS that don't belong in industrial zones.

This policy is long overdue and only the start.

Industry is the new fashion, and what's old is new again! Thank you Mr. Mayor.
Nov. 5, 2015, 11:52 am
Beth from Bklyn says:
Green industry, if such a thing Really exists?
Nov. 5, 2015, 1:54 pm
Schellie Hagan from Clinton Hill says:
De Blasio ponzi, again. De Blasio has made NYC a playground for developers: His Zoning for Quality and Affordability allows developers to build bigger in all five boroughs in a one-size-fits-all luxury building go-ahead faked up as affordable housing. Developers are the Mayor's best friends. Bruce Ratner threw his 50th birthday party, thanks in part for de Blasio sitting quietly so Ratner could wrench 22 acres of homes and businesses to build a 17-tower luxury "village from scratch." He just collected a million dollars from Ratner et al for his re-election campaign. That's two l o n g years away: Crime will continue to spike -- yesterday a vagrant attacked a nursing mom in a City park -- and homelessness to grow. Between the criminals in the streets and the derelicts, he should be glad there's a demand for hotels, that anyone wants to come here these days.
Nov. 5, 2015, 2:35 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
The only thing dumber than De Blasio's policy is Schellie Hagan's comment.
Nov. 5, 2015, 2:43 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
I have this theory that if your first exposure to politics/policy is at the national level and you see the inept and clueless Republicans, you wind up a Democrat. But if your first exposure is to the bumbling De Blasio, you end up a Republican. He's embarrassing.
Nov. 5, 2015, 2:47 pm
Schellie Hagan from Clinton Hill says:
Hi, Mike,
You think de Blasio ('s policy) is dumb and I'm dumber. You could be right -- what reasons do you base your conclusions on?
Thanks for explaining,
Schellie Hagan
Nov. 5, 2015, 3:31 pm
scittles from rainbow says:
I would say Levin is the developers' best friend. That, or he has zero ability to haggle.

Whatever, I voted for Thompson.
Nov. 5, 2015, 3:56 pm
Charles from Bklyn says:
This is a serious issue. The city is drowning in the economic development of high end housing for corporate portfolios instead of development to help the remaining 99% of New Yorkers. Know the issue fools, and give the mayor a break.
Nov. 5, 2015, 5:56 pm
jjm from c, hill says:
all of these darn condos are killing the jobs, along with everything else in nyc.
Nov. 5, 2015, 8:19 pm
jjm from c. hill says:
And crime really doesn't have anything to with it. Crime in nyc will never end regardless. As long as people are broke, starving & hassled by the police everyday, it will never stop. plain & simple.
Nov. 5, 2015, 8:22 pm
jjfad from gp says:
Jeeze I wish people would stop hating on the homeless. Sure, some of them may be jerks, but isn't that the case with everybody? There are shelters all over the city. And crime is everywhere, particularly noticeable if you choose to pay attention to it. The problem is inflation driven by overpopulation. Our little neighborhoods are use to the local drunks, elderly and vets being cared for by the nice little soup kitchens. Well, welcome to the city outer burroughs. Time to develop your perceptive abilities and be willing to rebound from being taken advantage of by parallax prejudices. Learn to see in the dark.
Nov. 5, 2015, 9:18 pm
jjfad from gp says:
Jeeze I wish people would stop hating on the homeless. Sure, some of them may be jerks, but isn't that the case with everybody? There are shelters all over the city. And crime is everywhere, particularly noticeable if you choose to pay attention to it. The problem is inflation driven by overpopulation. Our little neighborhoods are use to the local drunks, elderly and vets being cared for by the nice little soup kitchens. Well, welcome to the city outer burroughs. Time to develop your perceptive abilities and be willing to rebound from being taken advantage of by parallax prejudices. Learn to see in the dark.
Nov. 5, 2015, 9:18 pm
Charmaine from Bed Stuy says:
No one hates the homeless. The fact that there are more homeless under de Blasio is what everyone is concerned about. De Blasio has no feel for this City and that's why it's getting away from him. There are more shootings because he's handcuffed the NYPD. Officers would be crazy to proactively secure the streets when any move they make is scrutinized for bias. De Blasio is making NYC unsafe for everyone except criminals.
Nov. 6, 2015, 1:12 am
Matt from Greenpoint says:
"There are more shooting because he's handcuffed the NYPD."
Bwaaahahahaha
Nov. 8, 2015, 2:53 am
Hotelier from NYC says:
The real issue is REAL hotels, that are run by professionals. The Hotel Association of NY needs to look into this issue than the buildings where the investors take over the building and kick the tenants out and then they call it a hotel. The other real issue is Marty Markowitz is now employed by NYC & Company the very horrible agency that doesn't address illegal air B&B and doesn't track data like hotels converted into condos or coops. But, every year they produce the same press release with tells everyone tourism is doing great!
Nov. 9, 2015, 12:18 am
Rob the dog walker from Williamsburg native says:
Yes pls get rid of ALL the hotels in williamsburg it's enough that you have all these new buildings and infestation of ppl moving in. Living here all my life and in the last 6 months alone crime is at a whole new high..... in fact get rid off all the new ppl who moved in and all these shops to... bring back the old williamsburg ..
Nov. 24, 2015, 1:57 pm

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