New York City Mayor Eric Adams says he has figured out what to do with all those offices abandoned by workers during the COVID-19 pandemic: Hizzoner wants to create new apartments instead.
Tens of thousands of employees in the city who were forced to work remotely during the pandemic lockdowns and quarantines have since found they are more comfortable at home than at the office, despite various efforts by companies to encourage their return.
Some of the buildings are also empty due to the companies themselves no longer maintaining a presence in the city, either because they went out of business or downsized during the pandemic, or because they took flight in the face of rising crime.
Regardless, a 32-page report by a city-led task force has recommended an eleven-point plan to change state laws and city zoning requirements that would enable the conversion from commercial to residential space.
The mayor said Monday that he hopes to add as many as 20,000 homes in the city over the next 10 years – or at least, housing for 40,000 individuals.
“The opportunity offered by underused office space is clear: we know what we need to do,” Adams said in a statement.
“These concrete reforms would clear red tape and create the incentives to create the housing we need for New Yorkers at all income levels.”