Strategies for Identifying High Potential Vacant Lots and Implementation of Revitalization

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  • Topic: Manhattan, New York City, Lower East Side
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  • Published : December 12, 2012
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Strategies for
Identifying
High Potential
Vacant Lots
And
Implementations of Revitalization

In
Community Board 3, Manhattan,
New York

Hsiang-Sheng Huang, NYU Wagner, MUP 2013
hh969@nyu.edu, Mailbox: #0427
Introduction
The purpose of this report is to build upon my previous work of vacancy analysis of Community Board 3 of Manhattan Borough in New York City, Manhattan, New York City (GIS Analysis- the Study of Vacancy Condition in Community Board 3), and develop strategies to identify vacant lots with high potentials based on their current institutional strengths and geographical characteristics.

Since the high vacancy rate has been an important issue for the municipality, especially for Lower East Side - the jurisdiction of Community Board 3 (CB3), many for-profits organizations, non-profits organizations, and public agencies have devoted to revitalizing the area through redeveloping vacant lots. Aiming at helping locating ideal locales, this report tries to identify vacant lots which possess high developable potentials in CB3 via Geographic Information System (GIS) and presents the logic behind the process along the discussion. At last, the report will discuss the financial incentives for implementing the revitalization of derelict area in CB3.

Background
The physical boundaries of Manhattan CB3 are as such:

According to the data from Map PLUTO, there are currently 162 vacant lots in the jurisdiction of CB3. (See Figure 1) Most of the vacant lots are clustering among blocks between Avenue A and Avenue D, 12th Street and Houston Street. Which is worth noting is that some of the lots are adjacent to each other, hence creating some huge vacant lots. For example, the “super lot” between 12th Street, 11th Street, Avenue A, and 1st Avenue, and the one at the intersection of 9th Street and Avenue C are both notable clusters with considerable lot areas. For revitalization of vacant lots, more collective spaces would generally benefit because they allow more freedom and rooms for developing innovative projects. That is why we need to keep our eyes on such characteristics. In the next section, I’m going to develop strategies to filter and identify potential vacant lots.

Figure 1 Vacant Lots in CB3, Manhattan, New York

Figure 2 Land Use Pattern in CB3, Manhattan, New York

Figure 3 Types of Property Ownership in CB3, Manhattan, New York

Figure 4 Vacant Lands' Owner Types in CB3, Manhattan, New York

Figure 5 Vacant Lands' Maximum FAR in CB3, Manhattan, New York

Figure 6 Assessed Total Value of Vacant Lots in CB3, Manhattan, New York (1)

Figure 7 Assessed Total Value of Vacant Lots in CB3, Manhattan, New York (2) Identifying the Potential Developable Lots
In order to identify ideal developable lots, there are a few aspects which would be discussed along the way: land use, ownership type, maximum developable floor area ratio (FAR), land value, and exemption status. Land Use

By reading Figure 2, we could find that most of the east part of CB3 is used as residential; and commercial use and mixed-use developments are mainly located along west boundary and a few major roads like Houston Street and 14th Street. However, most of the vacant lots locate in areas which are mostly dominated by residential use. Therefore, when choosing the types of new developments which will be filled in the vacant lots, mixed-use development would probably make more sense since it keeps the option to attract more population and serve the surrounding neighborhood with some retail capabilities. Ownership Type

Due to the long history of development in New York City, there are hardly any properties and lands without specified owner. It is always important to identify the owner of each vacant land before going on a new project. In Figure 3, over half of the lands are owned by public sector. There are three explanations. One is because the location of CB3 is at the intersection of...
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