The first public meeting on the city’s proposal to rezone and upzone SoHo and NoHo will be next Monday from 6-8 pm.
This will be the first time further details of the city’s proposal will be made public – the first step before a months-long public hearing and approval process.
Here’s what we do know:
- The city seems certain to propose an ‘upzoning’ or increase in the allowable size of development in parts of the neighborhood, likely at least those identified as “housing opportunity zones” (see above map). We don’t yet know how much larger they want to allow development to go, but we understand it will be significantly larger than now. Current zoning in these neighborhoods has allowed buildings of 300 feet in height or greater. The zoning would be for residential developments that would be approximately 75% super-luxury and 25% affordable.
- The city seems certain to propose changing rules to make it easier to allow large retail stores, in many cases big corporate chains, to locate in the neighborhood — likely in the ‘commercial corridors’ (see above map), and possibly elsewhere.
- Developers who own property in the neighborhood and sites where large new construction could take place have been lobbying for these changes, donating generously to the Mayor’s campaign and since-shuttered, scandal-plagued non-profit ‘Campaign for One New York,’ and are behind some of the groups lobbying for the plan.
- In addition to the Mayor, Mayoral candidates Scott Stringer and Eric Adams, local Councilmember Margaret Chin, and the Real Estate Board of NY have all already come out in favor of upzoning and rezoning these neighborhoods.
Here’s what you can do to help:
- Use one of our special zoom backgrounds, so when you speak you send a clear message: SoHo and NoHo support affordable housing, but they absolutely oppose upzonings and allowances for expanding big-box chain retail – click on image above
- At the meeting, ask questions like:
- Why won’t the city implement affordable housing measures in SoHo and NoHo that the neighborhood would welcome – that don’t involve upzonings, wouldn’t be massive giveaways to developers, and wouldn’t create a flood of super-luxury housing in out-of-scale new construction – like requiring a set aside of affordable units in new residential developments, or new conversions of commercial/manufacturing buildings to residential use?
- Why is the city helping big chains to proliferate here, when it’s small independent businesses that are experiencing unprecedented pain and challenges right now?
- We know big property owners and developers pushed for this rezoning – will the city release a list of all the developers and real estate interests who lobbied for this rezoning, and who donated to the Mayor’s campaign and non-profit?
Click here for more information and background on SoHo/NoHo rezoning.