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Op-Ed: Lift Garment District Zoning Restrictions
New York City is considering changes to 1980s zoning rules restricting the uses possible in the Garment District. Here, Greg David makes the case that the situation has been studied long enough.
Claiming that the area's continued industrial viability amounts to so much fake news, David writes, "myths will need to be abandoned and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer must understand that reform isn't being rushed, but rather has been studied forever."
The restrictions date back to Ed Koch's term as mayor. The idea was to clean up then-seedy Times Square and preserve space for apparel businesses. However, "zoning couldn't counteract the global forces sweeping the industry. Today apparel manufacturing jobs in the city have dropped below 14,000, of which about 5,100 are in the district. Buildings are underutilized, and some are deteriorating because landlords have little incentive to invest in them."