NEW YORK CITY — The city will limit the ability of hotels, storage facilities and residential buildings to take root in Industrial Business Zones as part of a $115 million effort to protect the job-producing areas from further encroachment.
Under the plan, unveiled Tuesday by Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito in Brooklyn, the city will invest $64 million to provide a $150 million public-private fund for grants and loans for new and existing industrial businesses.
The city will also help companies gain access to the latest technology and create job centers to connect New Yorkers to those industrial firms looking to hire.
"We know what happens when protections aren’t in place," de Blasio said, using the former industrial Williamsburg neighborhood as an example.
"In the space of just a few years, businesses supporting thousands of jobs were lost to developers. And what happened in the place was we saw luxury housing, we saw hotels; we didn’t see those businesses get a space in that community to replace them — they had to look elsewhere," added the mayor.
Areas with remaining industrial businesses include Greenpoint, where the mayor toured Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center, Gowanus and East New York, which is currently undergoing a rezoning.
Developers who buy land in industrial business zones should expect to build industrial businesses, de Blasio warned.
The City Council will work to create a special permit that will be required to build a hotel in the manufacturing districts. The rule won't apply in the area around John F. Kennedy Airport because hotels are part of the business model.
"From here on out, and the administration and the council are absolutely unified in this position, we won’t support any private applications to build housing in IBZs. We will not consider private applications for housing in IBZs because we have to protect the jobs that exist," said the mayor.
The city's manufacturing and industrial section provides jobs for 530,000 people, or just more than 15 percent of all private sector jobs.
Most of those jobs, 328,000, are located outside of Manhattan and provide a median salary of $50,400 per year. Half of the workers in the field are foreign born, 62 percent are held by people of color and 63 percent don't require a college degree.
Mark-Viverito called the jobs a "gateway to the middle class." Until now, the "city's antiquated industrial policies have failed to keep up" with the demand, she added.
Using $10 million in public and private money the city will create manufacturing center that will offer 40,000 square feet of shared workspace with access to the latest technology such as robotics and 3D printers.
The city will also spend $750,000 to help create career pathways for jobs in the industrial sector and establish job centers in IBZs.
Officials estimate the changes will produce 20,000 new jobs over the next decade.