Long Island Upzoning encore
In 2001, the city rezoned the Queens Plaza/Court Square district in an attempt to turn the area into a vibrant business district. The city provided developers with the ability to build huge buildings. The rezoning did not restrict developers as to what type of building went up, therefore opening the door to luxury residential towers.
Since the rezoning, 13,000 units of housing have gone up or are in the process of going up, with only 5 percent of them--or 650 units--affordable, said City Planner Penny Lee at the meeting.
Meanwhile, City Planning's 2001 goal of adding 6 million square feet in office space has fallen well short. To date only 2 million square feet of office space has been constructed or is in the process of being constructed. The lack of office space has pushed commercial rents higher, putting pressure on small businesses.