Surveying Developers for Answers to New York City's Housing Crunch

Developers have a lot of opinions about how to fix New York's housing market (probably not a surprise) and not all of them consider themselves to be evil (maybe a little bit of a surprise).

2 minute read

March 31, 2017, 10:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Hudson Yards

Hudson Yards is no stranger to development. | pisaphotography / Shutterstock

"All developers are not alike." So goes the premise of a roundtable discussion of sorts between City Limits staff and nine developers of many varieties in New York City. Not only are developers not all alike in the types of the buildings they seek, they are also motivated by wildly varying politics. One thing they have in common, however: "they share some fundamental understandings of how the housing market should work."

Abigail Savitch-Lew introduces the survey and distills the findings of the discussion. Savitch-Lew surveyed a group of developers for their opinions on New York development—especially the efforts of the de Blasio Administration to rezone large parts of the city to make room for more housing.

The discussion hits on eight main findings of the opinions of this group of developers, as stated in the article:

  1. Upzoning is the only way to solve the affordability crisis.
  2. Some of us acknowledge upzonings can exacerbate displacement but in the end we still think they’re in everyone’s interest.
  3. It’s not like all of us are snapping up land in the potential rezoning areas.
  4. We’ll definitely build in the gentrifying neighborhoods. East New York, Jerome? Maybe down the line.
  5. Two things can slow down a neighborhood’s gentrification: strong community resistance and distance from the city core.
  6. We’ve got an array of feelings about the city’s mandatory inclusionary housing policy.
  7. If we like MIH, then we love 421-a.
  8. And there’s a whole lot else the government could be doing

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 in City Limits

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