On Jan. 31, the Manhattan borough president released Housing Manhattanites: A Report on Where and How to Build the Housing We Need. The report can be found here.
The Report identifies 171 housing opportunity sites that are currently zoned for residential use and are either vacant or significantly underbuilt. The Report also proposes nine neighborhood rezonings to facilitate new housing. The neighborhood rezonings either would replace manufacturing districts with districts that allow residential use or would rezone existing residential and commercial districts to allow a higher residential floor area ratio (FAR). A requirement for affordable housing (presumably under the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Program) would accompany the neighborhood rezonings.
Rezone Manufacturing Districts
To create new areas for housing development where it currently is not allowed, the Report proposes rezoning manufacturing districts in the midblocks south of Bryant Park and the Special Garment Center District; the East 90s east of Third Avenue; and the Special Clinton District. The Report also proposes rezoning manufacturing districts along the West Side of Manhattan and including them within two special districts (West Chelsea and Hudson River Park). The Report projects that these proposals could result in approximately 19,055 units, 5,316 of which would be affordable.
Upzone Residential Districts
The Report proposes a text amendment to certain subareas in the Special Hudson Yards District that would increase the maximum residential FAR and eliminate the requirement for developing commercial floor area prior to residential floor area. The Report also proposes rezonings in Morningside Heights, Washington Heights and Kips Bay. The Morningside Heights and Washington Heights rezonings would increase density near subway stations on Broadway but map contextual districts in other areas, where the FAR would be limited. The Report projects that these proposals could net approximately 7,864 additional units, 2,400 of which would be affordable.
The Borough President's Office engaged with community members in developing the Report's recommendations, some of which are an outgrowth of previous recommendations, such as Community Board 4's Affordable Housing Plan and the Morningside Heights Community Coalition's rezoning proposal. The Report indicates that the Morningside Heights proposal is the most advanced, with an expectation that it will enter ULURP later this year.
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