Converting underutilized commercial space into housing is a concept that has garnered much interest during the past two years—and for good reason. As we saw in Lower Manhattan in the years after 9/11, adding residents to predominantly office districts can create dynamic, live-work-play neighborhoods that strengthen the office market and local retail and create more opportunities for new housing adjacent to transit and jobs.
Unfortunately, no progress has been made toward getting a new large-scale conversions program underway in New York City in the past two years. That’s because a key ingredient has been missing: cooperation and coordination for critical policy changes at the state and city levels.
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