A $7 Billion Mistake? New York Seeks to Curb New Hotels.


Officials are preparing to present the plan to the public to residents of the city, which is now in a crucial stage. After it passes the public review phase, the plan will go to Council for a vote. It is anticipated that the plan will pass. This would enable the mayor to finish the policy before his departure.

Corey Johnson, Council speaker, is running as a comptroller with support from the hotel worker union. Benjamin Kallos and Brad Lander, both from Brooklyn, also supported this proposal at a hearing online earlier this season.

“I would like Councilmembers and community boards have a say” Mr. Kallos stated in an interview. “At the current time where tourism is at an all-time low, I want to make sure that what we are building is actually what we need.”

Carlos Menchaca was a Brooklyn city councilman who played a key role in beating back the major expansion of Industry City on Brooklyn’s waterfront. He stated that “Giving control to the community through a permit is how you want to go.”

Supporting a special permit procedure for new hotels by the Hotel Trades Council may seem counterintuitive. It is actually preventing the growth in jobs in the industry it represents. New York City Union hotel jobs provide one of only a few pathways to the middleclass for workers without college education.

Harry C. Katz of Cornell University, professor of collective bargaining said, “Labor generally favors growth and employment, but especially jobs within their own industry.”

Experts and unionists agree that mid-market hotels, which serve middle-class tourists, are difficult to unionize. If citywide special permits are adopted, as is expected, the hotel union would most likely use its political leverage to pressure Council members to only accept new hotels that use union labor.

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