Monitoring New Developments in SoHo/NoHo/Chinatown and Accuracy of Rezoning Predictions and Commitments

Rally with Village Preservation signs at SoHo/NoHo meeting

The Museum of Chinese in America has recently announced a plan for a significant expansion of its facility on Centre Street. This is of particular interest because, among other reasons, it’s located within the recently passed SoHo/NoHo/Chinatown Upzoning area — specifically within one of the areas of the rezoning that was particularly earmarked as a “housing opportunity zone” where the creation of new housing, especially new “affordable” housing, was supposed to be strongly incentivized and take place.

To be fair, this site is not one within this “housing opportunity zone” where the city predicted housing being created, in spite of the supposed incentives within the rezoning for doing so. However, it’s also not one on which the city predicted there being any new construction or expansion of any sort, and the rezoning analysis was supposed to include a reasonable prediction as to where any sort of new development might take place (not just affordable housing) within the rezoning area as a result of the changes made. As we thoroughly documented before the rezoning was approved in our report “Less Reliable Than Flipping A Coin,” the city’s track record of making accurate predictions about the impacts of its rezonings is pretty miserable. And yet these are the bases for these enormously consequential changes being considered and approved.

Village Preservation is monitoring all new developments within the SoHo/NoHo/Chinatown rezoning, to quantify how well they align with the proponents’ predictions and promises regarding its results, especially in the area of affordable housing. The number of affordable housing units so far planned to be developed as a result of the rezoning? ZERO.

April 6, 2022