Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Economic Development

Economic Development

  • Rethinking Economic Development in the Post-Covid World

    Rethinking economic development (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly altered state economies. At this point, it’s clear that some of the changes will last, with significant implications for how governments should think about the future. State economic development agencies are tasked with building that future and they need new approaches to address these changes.

    In January 2021, with the assistance of staff from the New York Empire State Development Corporation, we began a process

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  • Don’t Let Belmont Bonds Become the Next New York Boondoggle

    An empty Belmont


    The twice-bankrupt New York Racing Association (NYRA) is back at the State Capitol, cup in hand, asking the state to back $450 million in bonds to rebuild Belmont Park’s perfectly suitable and usually empty racetrack. The bonds would be in addition to the millions of dollars the state already provides to the industry through subsidies and tax exemptions. Considering the ongoing financial problems, coupled with diminishing interest and economic development as a result, it would be fiscally irresponsible for the state to back the

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  • ‘We’re Going Through a Period of Profound Change’: Kathryn Wylde on Shifting Economic Trends and the Future of NYC Central Business Districts

    Back to the office (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New York, the business capital of the United States, if not the world, is facing major questions about its post-pandemic recovery based on economic, workplace, and workforce trends. While the city’s major employers have for the most part done very well throughout the pandemic, some sectors are still struggling and remote work has altered the landscape in terms of office occupancy. This has raised questions about the city’s economic recovery given everything from reduced subway ridership and the many economic reverberations from

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  • New York’s Opportunity to Let Sunlight into Penn Station Plan and Other Economic Development Projects

    Penn Station redevelopment rendering (photo: MTA)


    A landmark open government bill passed the New York State Senate last week with a unanimous vote and the Assembly this week. The bill (S8419A-A9622-C))would amend the urban development corporation act in relation to community advisory committees and usher new sunshine into how New York does some of its economic development

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  • Hochul Announces New State Workforce Development Office

    Gov. Hochul at an announcement (photo: Office of Governor Hochul)


    Governor Kathy Hochul announced the launch of a new state office Tuesday intended to spearhead regional workforce development initiatives across New York.

    The Office of Strategic Workforce Development will be housed under Empire State Development (ESD), the state entity responsible for most major economic development projects. The arrangement is intended to coordinate workforce training programs with employers' needs, especially in growing sectors, as New York continues its economic recovery from the devastation of the

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  • Bills Stadium Deal Tests Hochul's Ethics Promises and Legislature's Oversight Role

    Gov. Hochul at a Bills game (photo: @GovKathyHochul)


    Last week Governor Kathy Hochul announced a deal to build a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills with hundreds of millions of dollars in state subsidies, and that she was planning to push it through the state budget with little time for scrutiny by the Legislature or public. It was the exact type of Albany politics many feared of the secretive negotiations with Hochul’s hometown team – and the type she promised to leave behind when she took office last year.

    The new stadium deal is also the first major test of a non-binding ...

  • 4 Keys to an Equitable Economic Recovery from the Pandemic in New York

     

    Ground-breaking (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    A month before COVID-19 swept through the five boroughs, headlines about New York City’shistoric economic growth were abounding. Yet, even as the growth of the city’s economy reached historic heights, a crisis of inequity persisted in Black and brown communities, who were facing higher rates of unemployment, less investment and growth, poorer health

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  • 'Database of Deals' for State Business Subsidy Accountability Backed by Both Houses of Legislature

    Gov. Hochul talks economic development (photo: Darren McGee/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)


    In their separate one-house budget resolutions passed this week both houses of the State Legislature included a "database of deals," a public register of state business subsidies that would shed light on billions of dollars in government incentives to corporations.

    The legislation, which has been around for years but not passed, would require the state to publish a searchable database of state subsidies for economic development projects that would document the corporate recipient, the state benefits received,

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  • A Bronx Soccer Stadium for the New Mayor? Maybe

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    An NYCFC game at Yankee Stadium (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Is it time for a soccer stadium in the South Bronx now that NYCFC is the Major League Soccer champion and the U.S. is (hopefully) on its way to qualifying for the 2022 World Cup?

    Maybe.

    A stadium built expressly for soccer could serve as a hub for this global sport in our global city. In addition to serving the home team (NYCFC) it could attract clubs from every continent for exhibition games, drawing fans from New York’s diverse communities. Imagine: Argentina vs. its

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  • 'An Unprecedented Job Program': Adams Promises Overhaul of Workforce Development in New York City

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    Mayor Adams at a small business (photo: office of Eric Adams)


    New York City’s wounded economy and the rise and fall of key sectors during the pandemic has heightened pre-pandemic concerns about the match between the labor needs of employers and the skills of hundreds of thousands of jobseekers. Eric Adams made better preparing the city's workforce a major area of focus as he pitched his vision of the city's recovery to New Yorkers in his successful campaign for mayor.

    "We are going to launch an unprecedented job program to link

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  • Initiative Offers Blueprint for Inclusive New York City Recovery and Growth

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    City resources on offer (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    The New York City Inclusive Growth Initiative -- an effort organized by three major nonprofit groups -- this week released a “blueprint” of 50-plus recommendations for the next Mayor and City Council to guide an equitable recovery from the devastating covid pandemic. Noting the propensity for change during times of crisis and the history of disasters like Hurricane Sandy and the

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  • A Small But Mighty Model for Community-Driven Development

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    New Yorkers participating (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Decisions around development are among the most controversial and consequential that our city leaders face. Whether a single building or an entire neighborhood, rezoning can change the face of a community for years to come. With New York’s desperate need for affordable housing and economic recovery competing against corporate profits and big developers, it is not surprising that these decisions are so contentious. 

    Yet as we recover from this pandemic, we have a once-in-a-generation

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  • 6 Steps to End Taxpayer-Funded Corporate Welfare in New York

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    Gov. Cuomo at an economic development event (photo: governor's office)


    New York State gives an estimated $4.4 billion a year to corporations to create jobs. Local governments give approximately $5.6 billion more, according to the Citizens Budget Commission. We do not know how much assistance each business gets, nor do we know how many jobs are created or retained. But we do know – as hundreds of studies have shown – that

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  • Video Brief: The Economy and the 2021 Election

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    A ribbon-cutting (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In this episode, we discuss the issues of the economy and jobs, and key aspects of what candidates in the 2021 New York City elections are considering, should be asked by voters, and more.

  • What's The [Data] Point? $4 Billion, Resetting the Development Debate in New York City

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    Where an Amazon HQ was to be (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 100 -- $4 billion, The Development Discussion [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    As we continue our series on land use, housing, and development in New York City, we were joined by Michelle de la Uz of Fifth Avenue Committee and the City Planning

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  • City Council Speaker Unveils Comprehensive Planning Legislation

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    New York City development (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    City Council Speaker Corey Johnson on Wednesday unveiled legislation that would overhaul New York City’s long-term planning processes, eliminating duplicative procedures, streamlining agency coordination, and establishing a more proactive, holistic approach to land use and budgeting that prioritizes racial and economic justice. 

    For decades, the city’s zoning, land use, and development have been subject to disparate sets of mandates and guidelines, some overlapping and redundant, in

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  • What's The [Data] Point? 29, The Debate Over the Special Flushing Waterfront District

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    Special Flushing Waterfront District development rendering


    What's The [Data] Point? 29, The Debate Over the Special Flushing Waterfront District [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    The proposed Special Flushing Waterfront District has become the latest battle in the ongoing war over development in New York City. The proposal, which now sits with the City Council after being passed by the City Planning Commission, is for a large swath of Flushing and would house new

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  • For an Equitable Recovery, New York Must Utilize Our Manufacturing and Industrial Sector

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    DNJ Mechanical Corp. moving into Maspeth (photo: BOC Network/Maspeth Industrial Business Association)


    As we get deeper into the current crisis, it’s becoming clearer that New York won’t simply bounce back to “normal.” We need effective strategies to transform our city’s infrastructure and economy. Policies aimed at protecting and growing industrial jobs can improve not only our citywide economy, but the nearby low-income residential communities and the lives of the predominantly of-color manufacturing workforce.

    As industrial business service providers, we ask our current and

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  • Queens Deserves Better Than a Development Plan That Benefits Too Few

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    Flushing Waterfront development rendering


    When faced with a crisis, whether 9-11 or Hurricane Sandy, New York has always rebuilt. The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic damage means that, now more than ever, we need to invest in our city. 

    But that doesn’t mean that all development is created equal, or that all proposed projects should get a blank check under the guise of recovery. That is why we have a review process for developments seeking to

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  • Big Flushing Project Up Next in City Debate Over Development

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    Flushing Waterfront development rendering


    When the developers behind Industry City, a massive retail and manufacturing space, announced that they had pulled the plug on their plan to rezone a portion of their property on the Sunset Park waterfront in Brooklyn, community activists in Flushing, Queens celebrated. 

    The proposed Special Flushing Waterfront District is a planned rezoning to usher in massive development along Flushing Creek, and is now being eyed by both proponents and critics as the next big New York City land use battle. The debate over the Flushing

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  • City-Solicited Recommendations Offer Strategies for More Inclusive Workforce

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    Mayor de Blasio at Google in Manhattan (photo: Mayoral Photography Office)


    A series of new reports commissioned by the de Blasio administration to examine ways to develop a more inclusive and robust workforce, particularly in New York City's growing tech sector, lays out both big opportunities and high barriers to achieve them.

    The studies, recently published by the New York City Economic Development Corporation but conducted largely before the pandemic-spurred recession, were designed and conducted by nonprofits, many of which run workforce development programs. Their

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  • A Critical But Too Often Ignored Piece to New York City’s Economic Recovery

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    A resource fair (photo: Edwin J. Torres/ mayoral Photography Office)


    Getting people back to work safely after the record-breaking job losses seen during the pandemic is on everyone’s mind. While this will require a multi-faceted approach, the frontline workforce field, i.e. the professionals responsible for training and connecting marginalized jobseekers with employers

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  • What's The [Data] Point? 20,000 - Industry City Rezoning Negotiations Fall Apart, with Industry City CEO Andrew Kimball & City Council Member Carlos Menchaca

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    Council Member Menchaca and others tour part of Industry City (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 96: 20,000 - The Industry City Rezoning Proposal Falls Apart, with Industry City CEO Andrew Kimball and City Council Member Carlos Menchaca[You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    Industry City CEO Andrew Kimball and City Council Member Carlos Menchaca joined the show to discuss the demise of the Industry City rezoning

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  • Economic Development in a Pandemic: Let's Launch The Bronx Reconstruction Program

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    A ground-breaking in the Bronx (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    Recent events have made it abundantly clear that the Bronx needs new, creative solutions. To rebound and rebuild stronger from the crises we face, we need policies that bring equity to economic opportunity; sustainable, liveable neighborhoods with great local schools; resilient communities; affordable, accessible transportation; and local input from the community about decisions affecting the community.

    In that spirit and as part of my candidacy for New York City Council in the Bronx’s District 11, I am

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  • Busting Industry City Rezoning Myths

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    Industry City (photo: @IndustryCity)


    City Council Member Carlos Menchaca’s July announcement of his intent to vote no on Industry City’s controversial “special innovation zoning district” because Jamestown Properties and investor owners were “...