Critical State Decision on Allowing Supersized Residential Development in NYC Expected Soon

Some huge NYC residential buildings constructed under the existing cap; lifting it would allow developers to go even bigger: (clockwise from top l.) Trump Palace; Central Park Tower; The Greenpoint; Brooklyn Point; 11 Hoyt; 432 Park Avenue; Skyline Tower; 1 Manhattan Square; 200 Amsterdam; 11 Hoyt.

Next week, the State Senate and Assembly are expected to release their “one house” budget bills, reflecting their legislative priorities, and Governor Hochul’s proposal to remove the long-standing cap on the allowable size of residential developments in New York City may be in there. If this measure is passed, it will permit the city to rezone any neighborhood to allow residential development with the sky as the limit, as opposed to the very generous limits that exist now. This means buildings even larger than the supertalls of Billionaires’ Row and many other enormous behemoths built across the city in recent years would be allowable in any neighborhood the city chose to rezone to allow them. 

Not only would such a plan destroy the scale and character of neighborhoods — it would also strongly incentivize the destruction of existing housing, including affordable rent-regulated housing sheltering longtime residents, and accelerate gentrification and displacement in neighborhoods. Yet paradoxically, proponents of this plan say it is necessary to make New York City more affordable and bring down housing prices — classic 1984-speak. The proposal wouldn’t require the inclusion of any affordable housing in any new development.

It’s critical that we let State leaders know that lifting the cap on the maximum allowable size of residential developments in New York City is wrong, and would harm neighborhoods and affordability. Decisions to be made next week may change the face of our city and neighborhoods forever. 


You can learn more about this plan, why it and other measures like it are so harmful, and what to do about them at our virtual program tonight: Why Are We Pushing Housing Policies That Harm Affordability and Preservation? A Lecture and Discussion with Andrew Berman.

March 9, 2023