New York City leaders, led by Mayor Bill de Blasio, are closing in on a controversial plan to drastically restrict hotel development, a move that the mayor’s own experts fear could endanger the city’s post-pandemic recovery and cost billions in lost tax revenue.
The mayor wants to require City Council approval for any new hotel, anywhere in the city — a layer of scrutiny otherwise reserved for neighborhood-altering projects such as airports, helipads, racetracks, large stadiums and drive-in movie theaters. He has said hotels create more traffic and activity than ordinary buildings, and he has defended the policy as good for both organized labor and community residents.
If the Council were empowered to approve all new hotels, developers fear that few, if any, would go ahead. Similar requirements have been imposed in a smattering of neighborhoods dating to the Bloomberg administration; in those districts, no new hotels have been built under the stricter rules.