How NYC’s Decade of Rezoning Changed the City of Industry

Eli Rosenberg, with a long, and very smart look at exactly why the Bushwick Inlet IBZ (and others) are broken:

But the massive redevelopment of the Williamsburg and Greenpoint waterfronts and the sudden desirability of the area was having a trickle down effect on even the IBZ, a small wedge in the middle of the vast rezoning that had transformed the two formerly industrial neighborhoods. A night market and concert venue had replaced the bakery across the street, with the leasing agents pitching the “central location and existing, vibrant night life scene.” A restaurant with a $125 dollar tasting menu had opened inside the IBZ a few blocks away. And the Wythe Hotel opened in Spring 2012 on the edge of the zone, quickly becoming a “summertime Eden” for a fresh crowd of jetsetters—a beneficiary of the nearly 200 blocks of rezoning the city pushed through in 2005, turning Williamsburg from an industrial neighborhood into a development free-for-all, as gleaming condo towers rose along a waterfront once blanketed by factories.

(A small point – people like to make a big deal about the Bloomberg administration’s 124 rezoning (“nearly 40% of the city’s acreage”), but they forget that many of those rezonings were contextual in nature, and did significantly change allowed uses or increase in any meaningful way the allowable density of development.)