Kicking Commercial-to-Residential Conversions Into High Gear

A plan included in New York Gov. Andre Cuomo's draft 2022 budget will make it easier to do adaptive reuse for new housing in New York City.

1 minute read

January 22, 2021, 6:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Manhattan, New York City, New York

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"For the next five years, certain New York City building owners may be able to get around some local zoning rules to convert properties to residential use," reports Kathryn Brenzel.

If enacted, owners of hotels with fewer than 150 rooms, other forms of temporary lodging, and class B and C office buildings in Midtown could "avoid local zoning restrictions related to light and air requirements for residential conversions," according to Brenzel. The ability to avoid zoning restrictions would contingent on commitments to set aside 20 percent of the new housing units as affordable, or as supportive housing.

Valerie Campbell, a partner at Kramer Levin who focuses on land use issues, is quoted in the article predicting that the proposed incentives would make it much easier and faster to complete adaptive reuse projects in New York.

More details on the geographic limitations of the incentives and the history of similar incentives for adaptive reuse in the state are included in the source article.

Declining demand for office space as a result of the pandemic is fueling the move to make it easier to convert hotel and office uses to residential, as predicted in an article by Edie Small for the same publication in March 2020.

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