Mayor Eric Adams has ushered in the next phase of the Midtown South Neighborhood Action Plan, a community development plan aimed at facilitating the conversion of office properties into multifamily residential buildings. Over time, the plan will update existing zoning rules and administrative hurdles that slow down the process for developers.
While the plan still requires approval by City Council, the Adams administration estimates the creation of 20,000 new homes over the next decade.
“I’ve said it before: New York City is the ‘City of Yes’ and today, we are saying yes to a flourishing economy, yes to thriving business districts, and yes to creating more homes for New Yorkers,” Adams said. “Today, as part of our ‘City of Yes for Housing Opportunity’ plan, we are throwing open the door to more housing with a proposal that will allow us to create as many as 20,000 new homes where the building owner wants to convert offices into housing but needs help cutting through the red tape.”
Formerly known as the Midtown South Mixed-Use Plan, the initiative began with a study area of roughly 42 city blocks. The boundaries of the plan include West 40th Street to the north, West 23rd Street to the south, Fifth Avenue to the east, and Eighth Avenue to the west.
Much of the area remains designated for manufacturing use after more than half a century. Mayor Adams hopes that these changes will yield opportunities for a variety of residential use types beyond market-rate including affordable and supportive housing properties.
While the focus is on vacant or languishing commercial properties, it remains to be seen how this will affect existing small businesses, especially in the historic Garment District.