In an effort to build the city’s industrial sector, the Industrial Jobs Coalition has proposed a set of policies that would change manufacturing areas to foster growth.
According to the IJC, which was formed to implement the strategies, New York City has pioneered the use of nonprofit organizations to develop and manage affordable housing. Now the coalition wants those groups to do the same for manufacturing businesses and jobs.
For example, organizations like the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center (GMDC) and Evergreen Exchange collectively manage 4 million square feet of space and close to 10,000 jobs. But the coalition said the benefits of their efforts are limited to their individual communities.
The IJC now wants to extend this strategy throughout all five boroughs.
To achieve the large-scale expansion, the coalition suggested that the city give nonprofit organizations a priority in the disposition of city-owned industrial land.
It also proposed funding increases to the Economic Development Corporation (EDC)’s Industrial Development Fund and enhancing the role of Industrial Business Service Providers (IBSPs) as neighborhood partners.
The second strategy it recommends is re-conceptualizing Industrial Business Zones into “industrial campuses.” That would include physical and structural changes to industrial areas.
Advocates from the IJC proposed rerouting bike lanes off truck routes and adopting parking, loading and sidewalk regulations. They also suggested adopting signage about the area’s industrial use, expanding high-speed broadband access, reviewing street maintenance and planning for resiliency.
The last proposal to foster manufacturing growth is to reform city zoning to protect industrial spaces. To do this, the IJC wants to prohibit “incompatible uses” that accelerate speculation within IBZs, such as hotels, large-scale entertainment venues and mini-storage facilities.
The zoning changes would also reevaluate density in manufacturing zones and end a Community Facility bonus.