Three possible methods of formula retail zoning are proposed within the report. These options — aimed at informing decisions by East Village policy makers — have been crafted using case studies, legal suggestions and pre-existing zoning frameworks from other parts of the country. Join us to learn more about the proposals and ask questions about efforts to block the proliferation of chain stores in New York State and beyond.
The Preserving Local, Independent Retail Roundtable is presented as part of our Get Local! campaign launched in 2006 to promote a diverse retail mix of independent stores that reflect the neighborhood’s character and serve its population.
The East Village is known for its colorful history of immigration, art, music, community advocacy and grassroots movements. Over the years the community has been home to a variety of artists, writers, and political activists — each group playing a significant role in shaping the neighborhood and creating the unique place that exists today. Today the East Village is one of New York’s most diverse neighborhoods, made up of residents from a variety of backgrounds and of various economic means.
Retail in the East Village has predominantly been made up of small, independent, local businesses. The small storefronts found throughout the neighborhood have provided affordable, low-risk opportunities for small business owners and local entrepreneurs. Today in the East Village a shift can be seen from independent stores to chains or franchises as well as from small storefronts to those with larger footprints. These stores are changing the landscape of the neighborhood by altering the shopping choices from independent to mass-market retailers. The expansion of these chains creates even more challenges for local, independent retailers.
Like many in other municipalities, the EVCC has determined that the presence of chain businesses can be detrimental to community character and local economies. Preserving Local, Independent Retail is presented as part of our Get Local! campaign launched in 2006 to promote a diverse retail mix of independent stores that reflect the neighborhood’s character and serve its population. Three possible methods of formula retail restriction zoning are proposed within the report. These options — aimed at informing decisions by East Village policy makers — have been crafted using case studies, legal suggestions and pre-existing zoning frameworks from other parts of the country.
As trends of gentrification and homogenization continue in New York, with respect to both the built environment and retail landscape, a timely solution is needed to preserve the individuality of the city’s neighborhoods. Placing restrictions on formula retail establishments via zoning amendments provides a path to preserving the rapidly changing East Village. Creating an East Village Special District using our framework will emphasize the importance and uniqueness of the community. Contact us to learn how you can help us create the Special Retail District the East Village needs.
About East Village Tuesdays
The East Village Tuesdays meetup series is designed to bring together residents of the East Village in the hope that socializing, sharing and supporting one another will lead to a stronger, more informed community. Our East Village Tuesdays series is presented by the East Village Community Coalition’s Host Committee, dedicated to creating enjoyable and informative events throughout the community on behalf of the EVCC.
In the fall of 2014 the EVCC enlisted the help of the JGSC Group to conduct the East Village Consumer Survey as a way to better understand why people visit the East Village. The slideshow highlights key findings from the survey.
Over the course of three days in August 2014, EVCC staff and volunteers walked every block of the East Village in an effort to catalog the ground floor use of each building in the community. The data provides a snapshot of the retail landscape in the East Village from summer 2014.
The East Village has 1750 total storefronts. The data shows concentrations of retail and services along the avenues, St. Marks Place, E. 9th and 4th Streets. The retail and service options disperse east of Tompkins Square Park.
Drinking Establishments + Food Service
In total Drinking Establishments and Food Services make up 35.8% of all East Village storefronts
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There are 362 retail stores in the East Village. The highest concentrations are along 1st and 2nd Avenues, as well as East 7th and 9th Streets and St. Marks Place.
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There are 249 local service establishments in the East Village. They are fairly well spread through the district; however, a decline in offerings can be seen in the eastern part of the district.
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There are 63 chain store establishments in the East Village. The majority of these are located on Third, Second, and First Avenues as well as 14th St.
Food service establishments (Starbucks, Subway, etc.) account for 35% of the chain stores within the East Village
Banks account for 21% of the chain stores within the East Village
At the time of the survey there were 196 storefront vacancies within the East Village, or an 11% vacancy rate.
The full presentation of the data can be seen here. [pdf-embedder url=”http://evccnyc.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/CB-3-Retail-Diversity-Presentation.pdf”]
In 2015, an NYU Wagner School Capstone team made projections on the near future of the East Village. After spending a year analyzing trends, policy, and plans, the students prepared a report and presentation on the projected effects of change on residents and the neighborhood’s character.
The East Village is experiencing rapid changes in housing stock, resident demographics, retail offerings and developments. With IBM leasing at Cooper Square and many buildings changing hands, we see potential for significant transformations in the area. In order to have an informed and prepared community, it is important that all influencing factors and trends be identified to prepare community groups, elected officials and residents who may work to mitigate projected effects. Real estate trends, population shifts, existing and proposed policies, planned developments, the condition of cultural resources are all considered in helping to predict what we can expect in the coming years in the area east of Tompkins Square Park.