City Planning Releases North Brooklyn Industry & Innovation Plan

Image credit: Department of City Planning.

The Department of City Planning released a comprehensive plan which seeks to update zoning and other land use strategies to stimulate spaces for new jobs and economic activity in the area. On November 19, 2018, the Department of City Planning released the North Brooklyn Industry & Innovation Plan which sets land use goals and tools for businesses in the area to promote growth and expansion. The Plan is part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 10-point Industrial Action Plan announced in 2015 and aims to create over 20,000 jobs in the North Brooklyn Industrial Zone, the third largest industrial business zone in the City.

The Department studied 1,066 acres in the North Brooklyn Industrial Zone, including adjoining manufacturing-zoned blocks in the Greenpoint, East Williamsburg, Bushwick, and bordering Newtown Creek neighborhoods. The Department conducted community outreach through multiple meetings and engagement with local stakeholders, including local businesses, organizations, residents, and advocacy groups, in order to address their needs and future business plans. The Department found job growth in areas for the first time in decades and driven by a diversification of jobs and growth in both industrial and non-industrial sectors. At the same time, such growth had led to strains on local transportation and other infrastructure, and an increase in competition for land and conflicts between different types of land uses.

The Plan seeks to preserve and build on both industrial and non-industrial job growth and provide ways to improve transportation and infrastructure to accommodate businesses, including updates to existing zoning to create and expand commercial space and pilots for innovative industrial transportation design tools. The Plan also seeks innovations in industrial areas for freight loading, truck routes, implementing business incentives for usage of clean trucks, and roadway reconstructions with more durable materials to handle the extra industrial traffic.

The Plan proposes strategies for quality of life improvements for workers by pedestrian and public realm improvements such as green infrastructure and connecting these individuals to job opportunities through workforce development programs, including connections to local schools for career pathways. Additionally, the Plan recommends zoning tools that reflect the needs of modern businesses and ensure that workspaces can be created to accommodate growth in the study area and identification of opportunities to leverage existing and new workforce development strategies.

“With nearly 20,000 jobs and a wide diversity of businesses, the North Brooklyn Industrial Business Zone (IBZ) is one of New York City’s most important job-producing centers. As this Administration works to foster more good-paying jobs in a broad range of business sectors, the North Brooklyn Industry and Innovation Plan zeroes in on key goals and tools to modernize outdated industrial zoning. This will allow businesses – from construction and distribution, to custom manufacturing and food production, to creative tech and media – to build more jobs in this IBZ, for the benefit of all New Yorkers and especially for local residents,” said DCP Director Marisa Lago.

“Preserving and strengthening our Industrial Business and Manufacturing Zones in Brooklyn is crucial to the economic diversity of our City. The jobs in those sectors have always been, and will continue to be, a crucial avenue towards economic stability for many New Yorkers,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “The North Brooklyn Industry and Innovation Study is an important step in keeping those jobs in New York City. We welcome the efforts by this Administration to apply new and innovative solutions to allow our current industrial businesses to stay in place and for new businesses to have a chance to open and grow. I look forward to continuing to work with the Administration and City Planning to achieve those goals.”

The next steps in the Plan involve the Department working with stakeholders to introduce zoning changes that can be adapted to modernize key industrial and commercial areas across the City.

To read the press release, click here.

To read the full North Brooklyn Industry & Innovation Plan, click here and here.


By: Samantha Albanese. (Samantha Albanese is a CityLaw intern, and a New York Law School student, Class of 2019).


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