De Blasio Administration Unveils Interactive Map Of Rezoning Commitments

June 29, 2018

NEW YORK —Today, the de Blasio Administration launched the NYC Rezoning Commitments Tracker, an interactive map that details progress on all City commitments that were made to communities as part of neighborhood-scale rezonings in East New York, East Harlem, Downtown Far Rockaway, Greater East Midtown, and Jerome Avenue. This new tool reflects the City’s holistic approach to neighborhood planning and commitment to transparency and good governance, providing a window into the Administration’s efforts to create a stronger and fairer city neighborhood by neighborhood.

“My administration is dedicated to creating a stronger and fairer city by giving communities a voice in the planning process,” said Mayor de Blasio. “The NYC Rezoning Commitments Tracker will provide New Yorkers the transparency and accountability they deserve when it comes to the progress of projects in their neighborhoods.”

“The Mayor’s Office of Operations works diligently to track progress on the Administration’s commitments to New Yorkers,” said Emily W. Newman, Acting Director of the Mayor’s Office of Operations. “By managing the NYC Rezoning Commitments Tracker, we give communities a window into what is happening in their neighborhoods. This new innovative map is yet another example of how we are improving transparency and accountability in City government while creating real and lasting changes that make our neighborhoods stronger and fairer.”

“The NYC Rezoning Commitments Tracker came as a result of a City Council bill co-sponsored by Public Advocate Letitia James and Council Member Rafael Espinal that required on-going tracking of all commitments as a part of neighborhood rezonings. This new interactive map is a welcome addition to our land use process, and will help inform the public. Accountability and transparency are a central pillar of good government and I thank the De Blasio administration for building this new tool and taking this work to heart,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

Each rezoning was adopted by the City Council as part of a comprehensive neighborhood plan that includes specific commitments related to housing, open space, community resources, transportation and infrastructure, and economic and workforce development.  Local Law 175 of 2016 requires the City to establish and maintain a public list of these commitments and to report annually on their progress.  As part of meeting this requirement, the Mayor’s Office of Operations developed an interactive map to help the public visualize and better understand what projects are being undertaken in their communities, where they are occurring, and the City’s progress toward its commitments.

The mapped commitments vary in timeline and scope and are being implemented by more than a dozen City agencies, including Housing Preservation and Development, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Parks Department. The map is user-friendly and will be updated each year in fulfillment of the law’s requirements.

Highlights by neighborhood:

East Harlem

  • The City is expediting the construction of over 2,600 units of affordable housing on publicly owned sites in East Harlem over the next several years, and in response to feedback from the community, committed to deeper levels of affordability for the Lexington Gardens II, Sendero Verde (SustainNYC), and 126th Street Bus Depot sites
  • The City designated as individual landmarks the Richard Webber Harlem Packing House, Public School 109, and the Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics (formerly Benjamin Franklin High School)
  • EDC will release an RFP in Summer 2018 to expand the Harlem River Greenway Link between East 125th and 132nd Streets
  • The City completed the renovations of James Weldon Johnson Playground and Playground 103

East New York

  • The City announced that a City-owned site at Atlantic and Chestnut will be developed with 274 units of affordable housing as well as a community center and public school
  • The City released two other RFPs for affordable housing in the area (Grant Ave Muni Lot and Christopher-Glenmore) which will together create approximately 200 units of housing
  • The School Construction Authority (SCA) is building a new, 1,000 seat pre-K through 8th grade school at Atlantic Ave and Chestnut Street. The project includes an at grade playground that will be open to the community during non-school hours. The project is on track and anticipated to open in September 2020
  • The Atlantic Avenue Great Streets reconstruction project broke ground in May 2018, and willadd a raised, planted median to the corridor, new water mains, sewers, and catch basins, as well as curb extensions and new crosswalks to make the avenue safer for pedestrians
  • Parks improvement projects are underway at Highland Park, City Line Park and Callahan Kelly Playground to provide the neighborhood with enhanced recreational options including new skate parks, play equipment and green spaces
  • Over $1.4 million was allocated to local groups, the Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation and the Local Development Corporation of East New York to support commercial revitalization along Fulton Street, Atlantic Avenue, and other corridors. These funds help owners grow their businesses and will make these corridors cleaner, more attractive neighborhood destinations

Downtown Far Rockaway

  • The City is advancing the first phase of a mixed-use development that will include hundreds of affordable units along with new commercial space and public open space in the heart of Downtown Far Rockaway
  • The City is nearing the selection of a developer to transform an underutilized City-owned lot into a mixed-use development of affordable and mixed-income housing, commercial space, and community facilities
  • The City has secured funding for the comprehensive renovation of the Downtown Far Rockaway library, with construction expected to begin in 2018
  • The Landmarks Preservation Commission designated two properties as landmarks:  Firehouse, Engine Companies 264 & 328/Hook and Ladder 134 at 16-15 Central Avenue , and the 53rd (now 101st) Precinct Police Station at 16-12 Mott Avenue 
  • The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) completed the installation of three new storm sewer extensions in Far Rockaway in September 2017. This work includes the installation of new storm sewers and catch basins to help improve drainage and reduce localized street flooding

Greater East Midtown

  • The East Midtown Governing Group has shaped and approved a public realm improvement plan for the area and has already begun implementation of the plan by allocating a total of $34M to fully fund projects that include:  A permanent pedestrian plaza at Pershing Square East, thoroughfare improvements along Lexington Avenue, and security infrastructure for a shared street on East 43rd Street
  • The City has made good on its commitments regarding several additional public realm improvement projects, including completion of a permanent plaza at Pershing Square West and initiation of the design and construction process for a permanent shared street on East 43rd Street
  • JP Morgan Chase is pursuing redevelopment of its headquarters at 270 Park Avenue using the tools provided by the East Midtown rezoning, which includes the purchase of air rights from area landmarks

While the Jerome Avenue neighborhood plan is included on the map, progress updates were not included this year since the rezoning was approved in March 2018 and it is too early for substantive updates. Progress on Jerome Avenue will be reported in the next round of updates in June 2019.

“As we continue to make progress towards the goals established with communities from East Harlem to Downtown Far Rockaway, this new interactive map reflects our commitment to greater transparency and accountability,” said Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer.  “From affordable housing developments on key public sites to new initiatives including Neighborhood Pillars to help community organizations acquire rent-stabilized properties, a citywide Certification of No Harassment to protect tenants from harassment and displacement, and a pilot basement conversion program in East New York, we continue to push forward on all our commitments, so residents see real results not just on this map but on the ground in their neighborhoods.”

"As we move to invest in our city's neighborhoods - including creating affordable housing, adding school seats,  beautifying parks, making streets safer and providing workforce training - we want New Yorkers to see the real progress that is being made. This easy to use interactive tool allows you to visualize the City's commitments and to track our progress, so check it out," said Department of City Planning Director Marisa Lago.

"With every rezoning there is a fear that commitments made will not be kept," said Council Member Rafael Espinal. "But, as the first Council Member to undergo a major neighborhood-wide rezoning under the de Blasio administration, I have to give credit where credit is due. Not only has the administration followed through on the plans we put in place, but it has done so in a transparent and open way. This new digital tool is as nifty and aesthetic as it is is useful and will serve the public well."

“The new NYC Rezoning Commitments Tracker will provide the accountability rezoned communities need and deserve to ensure that this administration and every administration moving forward sticks to the commitments promised to local residents,” said Council Member Donovan Richards. “Too many neighborhoods throughout this city have seen promises broken by former Mayors or new leadership that hasn’t honored the commitments of past administrations. Thankfully, this tracker will serve as a tool for communities and elected officials to hold any administration accountable. I’d like to thank Mayor de Blasio for working with the City Council to ensure that this city continues to become more transparent and for valuing the importance of building trust with local residents who simply want the best for their neighborhood.”

“New Yorkers love being in the loop. The new rezoning tracker will give residents in my district a better sense of what’s happening with the East Midtown Upgrades through interactive project updates. I thank the Mayor’s Office of Operations for this innovative tool, and I am proud of the East Midtown Governing Group’s work since announcing the rezoning, including expanding pedestrian space at Pershing Square East and adding security at 43rd Street,” said Council Member Keith Powers

“This new tool will provide New Yorkers with a real time map of the work being implemented in their communities and will enhance communities’ ability to track the commitments promised them. This map will provide an even clearer picture of the interdisciplinary, multiagency investments being made in communities as a result of the rezoning, and how they stand to benefit New Yorkers on a community and borough wide level. I commend the Administration for using technology to enhance transparency and encourage New Yorkers, especially residents in my district, to bookmark this site and regularly check in on the investments being made in their communities!” said Council Member Vanessa Gibson.

“The NYC Rezoning Commitments Tracker is an interactive map that will afford New Yorkers the ability to track the progress of the Administration’s commitments to improve their neighborhoods,” said Council Member Diana Ayala. “This innovative tool is a step in the right direction to establish a more transparent and comprehensive neighborhood planning process. I thank the Administration for developing this creative, accessible resource and encourage New Yorkers to utilize it to better understand the improvements slated to occur in their communities.”

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