Testimony of the Real Estate Board of New York before the City Council Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises in support of the rezoning of the Pfizer sites

The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) is a trade association with 17,000 members comprised of owners, builders, residential and commercial brokers and managers, and other real estate professionals active in New York. REBNY supports the plan proposed by Harrison Realty LLC to redevelop the long-vacant former Pfizer site at 200 Harrison Avenue as a mixed-use project with 1,146 units of mixed-income housing.

The project area is bounded by Harrison Ave, Union Ave, and Gerry St and is well-served by the G, J, and M trains. The proposed action will rezone the area from M3-1, which allows for low-performance manufacturing, to R7A/C2-4, R7D/C2-4, and R8A/C2-4, which allows for midscale residential development with one or two floors of commercial.

This rezoning addresses several key and interrelated issues that our city faces today. The proposed development will produce approximately 1,146 residential units. 287 of the units would be affordable, complying with the City’s new Mandatory Inclusionary Housing policy. This large residential development will help address our city’s chronic housing crisis. The development will also include 26,000 square feet of dedicated publicly-accessible open space, nearly 65,000 square feet of local retail and 405 parking spaces.

The applicant has included the community and made sure that neighborhood residents benefit from the project. This project will generate hundreds of construction jobs and at least 25% of the value of the contracts will go to local companies. Additionally, all building service workers will paid the prevailing wage. The applicant will also sponsor a number of community-based workshops to assist neighborhood residents through the process of qualifying for affordable units and make sure that the Community Board and residents are notified about all available units prior to the launch of the lottery.

This project would be among the first privately-owned, privately-financed developments to comply with the City’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) program, creating nearly 300 new units of affordable housing. It is important that you continue to support and encourage projects like this, that advance the City’s goal of creating more affordable housing.

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Michael Slattery

Senior Vice President - Research

Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY)

(212) 616-5209