1. Create a new “Gowanus Manufacturing Zone” that strengthens industrial land use protections for the current Industrial Business Zone (IBZ), and potentially for areas outside the IBZ
Fostering the Manufacturing Sector > Recommendations

Gowanus_Zoning_18NOV14_v18

Restrict non-industrial uses

In order to maintain the area’s integrity as a destination for a wide range of industrial and manufacturing related businesses (from lighter to heaver types of industry), commercial business types that are known to escalate local rents and can be incompatible with industrial activity should no longer be allowed as-of-right. These include: hotels, big-box retail, self-storage facilities, nightclubs, amusements (like large sports facilities), and large floor plate office buildings.

Use zoning to increase the allowable densities

Currently much of the area’s maximum allowable FAR1)Maximum allowable FAR, which is dictated by zoning, essentially indicates how large a building can be built. Floor Area Ratio (FAR) is the ratio for a building’s total floor area to the size of the lot on which it was built. See the NYC Department of City Planning’s website for more information on zoning and FAR. is only 1.0. This can restrict building owners who want to enlarge their buildings to expand their businesses and capitalize on the area’s proximity to both downtown Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan. While multi-storied industrial buildings are unusual outside of New York City where land is more plentiful, they are viable in New York City where business owners place a premium on proximity to customers. Many stakeholders support increasing the FAR to as much as 3.0 in order to create more opportunity for the retention and expansion of industrial firms.

 

References   [ + ]

1. Maximum allowable FAR, which is dictated by zoning, essentially indicates how large a building can be built. Floor Area Ratio (FAR) is the ratio for a building’s total floor area to the size of the lot on which it was built. See the NYC Department of City Planning’s website for more information on zoning and FAR.