Making Local Hiring Deals Work for Community

The future site of "Hotel Ludlow?"

Last week, we posted an update on 180 Ludlow, the terminally stalled hotel project ensnared in Building Department red tape as well as protracted litigation.  Now, a follow-up on another aspect of this story: Community Board 3’s efforts to require local hiring if/when the hotel opens for business.

A few weeks ago developer Serge Hoyda asked CB3 to support his application for a variance (an extension of time) that’s being considered by the Board of Standards and Appeals.  CB3 wanted Hoyda to sign “stipulations” promising that local residents would make up at least 20% of the hotel staff.

Explaining that it would be premature to make a specific commitment, his attorney, Jessica Loeser, said Hoyda could only agree to make “best efforts” to hire locally. In response, the community board voted not to support the BSA application.

CB3’s decision is unlikely to sway the BSA commissioners one way or the other, but the debate brought up some bigger issues concerning “community benefit agreements,” which real estate developers and other businesses occasionally enter into with local community boards.