The Future of Manufacturing in The Garment District
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson reconvened the MBP Steering Committee that met last summer to negotiate a plan with the NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to stabilize the manufacturing sector of the fashion industry in the Garment District while simultaneously lifting the Special Garment Center District (SGCD) overlay.
Since last year’s meetings, the Garment District Alliance (GDA) worked with EDC to identify property owners with a minimum of 25,000 sq. ft. of apparel manufacturing who would be interested in entering an IDA tax incentive program. The goal was to reach an agreement with property owners that would protect a core of apparel manufacturing in the district for 15 years. EDC was successful reaching agreements with three property owners putting a total of 300,000 sq. ft. into the plan with the hope that additional interested owners will come into the plan over the next months.
With these additional protections for apparel manufacturing here in the Garment District, the City plans to certify for a zoning text amendment with New York City Planning on Monday, June 11.
It should be noted that simultaneously, the GDA has agreed to also protect our apparel manufacturing tenants that opt to move to a robust cluster that is taking shape in Sunset Park, Brooklyn by covering the cost of the relocation and business disruption. This decision was taken to ensure that industry businesses currently located in the Garment District remain viable in New York City despite relocation, and remain integrated and supportive of the overall industry in the City. The GDA agreed to commit up to a total of $25MM over ten years to alleviate this specific, real estate-related, disruption.
Additional aspects of the plan, including the potential of a City-funded purchase of building for manufacturing and a special permit provision for new hotel construction in the district is unrelated to the GDA.
We applaud the efforts of Speaker Johnson and Manhattan Borough President Brewer and are gratified that both the Garment District in Manhattan, and the newly emerging cluster in Brooklyn are being recognized as important to the diversity of business sectors in the City. We are also supportive of this plan that recognizes the importance of this industry and ensures its sustainability into the future.