As the “gig economy” spawns attacks on Uber Technologies Inc. and Airbnb Inc., those afraid of change have opened a new front in the war on economic dynamism. Increasing swaths of major cities — including over a quarter of Manhattan and a third of Baltimore — have been designated as historic landmarks in order to force out developers. This overpreservation impedes development and revitalization, freezing neighborhoods in time and depressing economic growth.
“Not In My BackYard” interests in New York “use historic preservation as a way to limit development,” says former Landmarks Commissioner Margery Perlmutter. Not surprisingly, these NIMBYs are concentrated in richer, politically connected areas. Groups in the Upper West Side, Upper East Side, SoHo and TriBeCa have managed to preserve between 30 and 70 percent of their neighborhoods, while poorer areas like East Harlem are less than 1 percent designated for historical preservation.
But this isn’t a story about gentrification, with Millennial hipsters trying to squeeze out racial minorities: There is great profit to be made in transforming outdated buildings in richer areas.
Continue reading at The National Law Journal.