Making Midtown

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Read more about the Making Midtown report


Andrew Bernheimer, architect

Colin Cathcart, architect

Kei Hayashi, economic policy

Rob Lane, architect

Additional Contributor

HR&A Advisors, a top economic development and public policy firm

Related Events

Making Midtown Workshop
Dec. 17, 2011

Making Midtown Briefing
June 12, 2012

Making Midtown, a project of the Design Trust in partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), will provide a strategy and vision for the future of the Garment District in Midtown Manhattan.

Released at a press conference on October 17, 2012, the Making Midtown report provides actionable recommendations for how New York City can strengthen the Garment District as a vital hub for creative production by way of zoning and land use regulations, programming, branding and other strategies to ensure the enduring success of the District.

Phase I of this project, Made in Midtown, demonstrated that the District's dense network of designers, factories and suppliers function as a research and development hub for the fashion industry, enabling designers to create the innovative styles that make New York City a global fashion leader while also providing thousands of manufacturing jobs.

This second phase, culminating in the publication of "Making Midtown: A New Vision for a 21st Century Garment District in New York City" has brought together all of the key stakeholders to develop a shared vision and specific actions to ensure that the Garment District will continue to be an extraordinary source of fashion innovation and jobs, as well as a desirable destination neighborhood for businesses and people of all kinds.
The Design Trust recognized that plans for the Garment District must consider the neighborhood as a whole along witih its broader Midtown context, and must be developed in partnership with all of the District's key stakeholders. The Design Trust assembled a new team of Project Fellows (listed at right) who conducted the following activities:

  • Comprehensive analysis of the Garment District's real estate dynamics, zoning, and finances

  • Documented the Garment District's built environment, including its building stock, streetscape, traffic patterns, public realm and neighborhood identity

  • Led a participatory planning process with District stakeholders through one-on-one interviews and a series of small working group sessions workshops, where the team identified priorities for charting the District's future.

  • Convened more than 60 City officials, property owners, factory owners, and fashion designers to generate and test strategies to guide future development in the District.

  • Developed and published innovative, realistic recommendations to steer planning, development and creative placemaking activities in the Garment District

Major Funders
Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA)
New York City Department of Cultural Affairs
Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
Nanette Lepore and Robert Savage

Additional Support
Hilldun Corporation
Bergen Logistics
Garment Center Supplier Association of New York

Press Coverage
"New York's Grimy Garment District Hatches Designer's Dreams"
February 7, 2013

"Proximity is Creativity: Unlocking the Value of the Garment District"
Urban Omnibus
November 14, 2012

"A Garment District with Some Big Ideas"
The New York Times
October 17, 2012

"A 10-year Plan to Update and Save the Garment District"
October 17, 2012

"Evolutionary Road"
Women's Wear Daily
Sept. 8, 2011
* Women's Wear Daily devoted a major spread in their Fashion Night Out issue to the Design Trust's important work in an article entitled "Evolutionary Road." There, our Made in Midtown study is credited with "giving a major boost to the District by stressing its continued importance to the local fashion industry." Read the full article (PDF).

"Sunday Arts: Live from Lincoln Center"
Thirteen New York
Aired Sept. 8 and 11, 2011
* Watch Design Trust's Director of Programs Jerome Chou discuss our Making Midtown project on Thirteen's "Sunday Arts" program! This special edition - which first aired on September 8th - focused on Fashion Week in New York and spotlighted the Design Trust's two-part initiative about the Garment District: Made in Midtown (completed in June 2011) and Making Midtown (current).

"CFDA Helps Launch New Garment District Initiative"
NBC New York
June 28, 2011

"Buying Clothes Made Locally"

Los Angeles Times
June 19, 2011

Press Release

"Design Trust for Public Space and Council of Fashion Designers of America Launch Making Midtown: Sustaining Design and Production in an Evolving Garment District"
June 20, 2011

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