From Commercial Observer:
The City Planning Commission earlier this week kicked off public review for a zoning change that would create a special permit to limit hotel development in industrial zones. While many in the real estate industry loathe the special permits, some hotel owners are surprisingly in favor of them.
The policy was first proposed in 2015 as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to preserve industrial jobs. But it also benefits the New York Hotel & Motel Trades Council, the powerful hotel workers union that backed both of the mayor’s election bids and donated heavily to his campaign. While city planners would never admit it, the special permit process would allow the City Council to impose union labor requirements on a development. And most outer-borough hotels—which are by and large built in industrial zones—employ non-union workers.
However, the zoning text amendment does include a potentially controversial carve-out for new hotels that will be used as homeless shelters. Hotels “operated for a public purpose” will not need to go through the special permit process, and hotel-to-shelter conversions will also be exempt from the permit requirement, according to zoning documents from the Department of City Planning.
Well that explains the overdevelopment of L.I.C. Keep the hotels confined to Industrial zones, and rezone everything else accordingly. The hotels that are in well established locations, not within these new zones, are soon to be shelters. Afterwards, when they’ve been sitting empty for a bit, the property owners will create a deal with the city to sell over the properties, or just continue to charge the city per resident fees.
Who’s What’s in charge of this office?!