For more than a century, the Garment Center has been the home for clothing manufacturing in New York, not to mention the epicenter of the fashion world. An innovative steering committee report will help keep it that way.

Last month, the City Council voted to approve a set of targeted zoning changes that will provide fashion manufacturers with long-term stability in the Garment Center, while also creating a 200,000-square foot garment production hub at the Made in NY Campus in Sunset Park. At the same time, the changes will allow the Garment Center to achieve its potential as a mixed-use neighborhood that includes significant office space alongside manufacturing, wholesale, and showroom space.

“We’re preserving the City’s fashion manufacturing capacity both in its traditional home in the Garment Center, and with investments across the city,” Mayor de Blasio said in a press release. “(The) vote ensures that the Garment Center will continue to thrive as a mixed-use neighborhood — and that New York City will always be the world’s fashion capital.”

The exciting changes are the result of a set of recommendations detailed in a report by the Garment Center Steering Committee, formed by Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, and former Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen, to engage stakeholders in the Garment District and New York’s fashion and garment industries.

The steering committee was facilitated by Public Works Partners who, along with an independent consultant, facilitated a robust discussion about the challenges and opportunities facing the garment manufacturing industry in New York City. The steering committee ultimately reached consensus on 11 recommendations for the future of the Garment Center. The City Council voted to embrace those recommendations, and the response from both the Manhattan community and the fashion world has been resoundingly positive.

“New York’s fashion industry is in a vastly better position today than it was 15 months ago when the City first announced it would rezone Manhattan’s garment center,” said Adam Friedman, Director of the Pratt Center and member of the Fashion Industry Task Force, in a press release. “There is an emerging momentum to bring these strategies to fruition, and we are committed to working with all the stakeholders to support the industry’s future.”

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