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.
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”]
“East Village Loves” will highlight the East Village merchants affected by the tragic Second Avenue blast and emphasize that they are now fully open for business.
Independent entrepreneurs in the East Village in conjunction with the East Village Independent Merchants Association (EVIMA) have announced the launch of “East Village Loves,” a campaign created to highlight local businesses in the East Village. Utilizing the #eastvillageloves hashtag, the campaign will call for New Yorkers to shop in the East Village and support the establishments most affected by the blast.
On March 26th, a devastating explosion and fire leveled three historic buildings at the corner of Second Avenue and East 7th Street tragically claiming two lives, destroying dozens of homes, and displacing several businesses both temporarily and permanently. Over thirty-eight establishments lost business due to barricades, blocked traffic, emergency operations, and a broader avoidance of the site by visitors.
In the wake of these events, neighborhood business leaders, local elected officials and the East Village Independent Merchants Association (EVIMA) have rallied to celebrate that the East Village is here and open for business. Nearly all businesses affected by the blast have re-opened on Second Avenue and East Sixth Street, East Seventh Street, and St. Marks Place, and regular vehicular and foot traffic has resumed.
Now is the perfect time to visit the East Village, to support the places that have been difficult to access and to find new favorites among a widely diverse retail and food landscape.
Through “East Village Loves” merchants, residents, and visitors can share their favorite East Village spots and the types of industries that they love most. The campaign is a celebration of the rich, diverse, and historic neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, characterized by a concentration of mom-and-pop establishments that are becoming less common throughout the city.
The campaign will have a presence at major public events associated with Lower East Side History Month in May, including the 39th Annual Ukrainian Festival from May 15th through 17th.
The campaign’s chosen slogan commemorates the vintage shop Love Saves the Day, made famous by the 1980s film Desperately Seeking Susan. The inimitable shop closed its reign at the ill-fated corner of Second Avenue and East 7th Street in 2009.
Consider joining #SaveNYC, a grassroots, crowd-sourced, DIY movement to protect and preserve the diversity and uniqueness of the urban fabric in New York City.
As our vibrant streetscapes and neighborhoods are turned into bland, suburban-style shopping malls, filled with chain stores and glossy luxury retail, #SaveNYC is fighting for small businesses and cultural institutions to remain in place.
The mission is to bring attention to the plight of Mom and Pop, and to lobby state and city government to implement significant and powerful protections for small businesses and cultural institutions across the five boroughs of New York City.
The devastation has been overwhelming. Protecting what remains will require a multi-pronged approach. First steps:
• To raise awareness, the #SaveNYC website gathers video and photographic testimonials from people everywhere who love New York and want to see its diverse culture and heritage protected. The group tweets and posts on Instagram with the hashtag #SaveNYC, and run a Facebook group.
• The first political objective is to pass the Small Business Jobs Survival Act (0402-2014). This bill will make it possible for small businesses to negotiate fair lease renewals with landlords, thus stemming the tide of mass evictions and catastrophic rent hikes.
Judson Memorial Church 55 Washington Square South Thursday March 5th, 7pm – 9pm; Doors open 6:30pm
Join neighbors, local business people, and a panel of experts to save and protect the small businesses that are the lifeblood of our community.
The City Council on January 22, introduced a new resolution calling upon Albany to pass legislation establishing a property tax credit for commercial landlords who voluntarily limit rent increases upon renewal. Only landlords who “volunteer” to participate will be given tax breaks as incentives to not rent gouge tenants. The opposite option, the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, (S.B.J.S.A.). regulates the lease renewal process by giving rights to business owners equal to landlords to negotiate fair lease terms, and the right to 10 year leases. If both parties can not mutually agree on lease terms, the bill calls for Arbitration.
Which of these is the best solution? Or is there a better solution?
Landlords now have all the rights, rights to determine the destiny of owners, their workers, and the destiny of the character and culture of an entire community. Because the gateway to the American Dream has been locked, the key freely handed to big Real Estate, many feel it is time to throw a ‘life line’ and ‘empower’ our struggling small businesses now drowning in a sea of greed.
Sung Soo Kim – Former Chair: Mayor’ Small Business Advisory Board
Alfred Placeres – Founder, NYS Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Jenny Dubnau – Spokesperson for The Artist Studio Affordability Project
Jack Segan – Community Affairs Representative for Jetro Foods
Robert Perl – President of Tower Brokerage
Mark Crispin Miller – Professor of Media Studies; Critic of NYU overdevelopment
Moderated by Lincoln Anderson, The Villager Editor-in-Chief
Sponsored by The Villager and Village Independent Democrats
Our neighborhood boasts resident-serving retail outlets and unique offerings from creative merchants. The East Village is NOT a strip mall – thankfully the monotonous chain stores found in town after town are in short supply here. In an attempt to keep our neighborhood independent and unique, we publish our free Get Local! Guide to East Village Shops each year. The updated 8th Edition is available now!
Spending your money locally helps small businesses thrive in the East Village.
Local shopping also:
Keeps more money in our community
Creates local jobs with fair wages
Sustains small business owners who defend our neighborhood’s identity
Chooses creativity and personality over uniformity
The newly available 8th Edition lists more than 500 local merchants and is available in shops and cafes in the neighborhood. You can download the online version or pick up your free copy today!
We are working to preserve small businesses as an integral part of maintaining our diverse, livable community.
Thank you to supporters of the 2014 Get Local! guide:
Join the East Village Independent Merchant Association for an evening of special offers.
Stop by EVCC from 6-10pm to meet neighbors, participate in our toy drive to benefit the Women’s Prison Association and enjoy holiday treats.
Shamburger’s CHKA is the premier downtown martial arts school, training adults & kids in Kenpo Karate & Kickboxing for over 20 years in the East Village. Open 7 days a week. All classes are open to beginners!
Free drop-in martial arts classes at 6pm, 7 pm and 8 pm for first-time martial arts students only. Mention EVIMA for a free month of classes. Be sure to wear or bring easy to move in clothes.
For 40 years, Clayworks Pottery has been an East Village presence, providing finely crafted stoneware and porcelain for kitchen, tabletop and home decor. Vibrant, original, eminently useful mugs, plates, bowls, teapots, vases, goblets, espresso cups, pitchers and so much more wait here to delight the eye, entice the hand and warm the heart for the holidays and after.
Dinosaur Hill is a 30 year old store specializing in ‘Handmade Wonderments, Toys, Clothes and Gifts.” We are here to help you choose the very best thing you can find for friends, family, and …yourself.
If you sing a verse of your favorite song (or Row, Row, Row Your Boat), you will receive a 10% discount May have items suitable for WPA Teen Gift Drive
Dorian Grey Gallery celebrates the artistic history our neighborhood, carrying on to the present and future with a special emphasis on works by artists and subject matter from the East Village. Visit us to learn about, enjoy and collect works celebrating our neighborhood’s rich artistic legacy.
Original limited edition poster from artist John “Crash” Matos with every purchase above $200
Wendy and LaRae Kangas are the sisters behind the petite East Village boutique, duo nyc, which features vintage + modern clothing and accessories. Their aim is to introduce emerging independent designers and to provide a well-edited vintage selection. “We want duo nyc to be an inviting place for our clients and to express our own vision by filling our shop with pieces that are timeless and modern.”
20% off storewide + complementary drinks May have items suitable for WPA Teen Gift Drive
Dusty Buttons carries vintage and new US made or Fair Trade Certified dresses. Our heart is with the 1940s and 1950s so there is a definite nod to that era. We also carry new European footwear, a gal can never have to many beautiful comfortable shoes!
The Exit9 mission is to put a little fun, joy, diversity and diversion into daily life while adding flavor to the neighborhood. We hope you’ll find our creative selection of gifts and novelties fun. And every morning when we unlock and roll up the steel gates we know that, along with our fellow small businesses nearby, we are keeping up the vibe.
15% off all items (including those already on sale!)
Suggestions for WPA donation: hats, gloves, t-shirts, jewelry, wallets, handbags
Gallery Vercon features contemporary women’s clothing and accessories ranging from hats to scarves to locally designed jewelry. Unique materials and designs make this eclectic boutique an East Village must-see.
GOAT-MILK Kidware is a brand of basics for babies and kids. All our garments are made of 100% organic cotton. The line is made up of unique and simple pieces like thermal tops and bottoms and includes onesies, underwear and tank tops.
For over 16 years, Love Shine has been been making cool and eclectic bags that are both stylish and durable. Locally produced by hand, our canvas bags (adorned with a variety of ribbon trimmed images) can be seen all around city.
20% discount store wide + refreshments. Open till 9:30 p.m.
Parlor offers the elevated craft of hairdressing with a variety of specialties in all hair textures. Guiding you through superior customer service, utlizing the most current methods and trends we transform your image to where you want it to be.
Drop in and request a facial or make an appointment, and receive a complimentary lip saver.
Physical GraffiTea sells organic loose leaf teas and herbs by the ounce as well as tea pots and accessories. We also offer drinks to stay or to go, including hot or iced teas, lattes, matcha, and Kombucha on tap. We believe in using tea and herbs to support health and happiness in one’s life. We are located in the ground floor retail space of the historic “Physical Graffiti” buildings that graced the cover of the Led Zeppelin album of the same name.
The Shape of Lies is 98% pure Manhattan. We showcase small artists producing locally and offer unique designs & signature pieces. Opened in 1979 we’re now one of the last Mom & Pop live work storefronts in the East Village. As our neighbors know; when the lights on you can always knock for gifting emergencies….we live in the back!
Stop in and bring your coupon. OPEN 12 to 9 every day till Christmas. Shop 24/7 at ShapeOfLies.com
Do you live in the East Village? Or love to visit? Don’t get here often enough?
Let us know what you think! Take our short surveyby November 22nd to help us determine where and how people are spending in the community.
Goals of the survey: Help to identify what types of retail are missing from the East Village Assess affordability of products in the neighborhood Determine how often people are spending money in the East Village
Capture information on neighborhood demographics and other retail factors
The survey is part of the of the organization’s retail diversity campaign, which advocates for increased diversity of available retail and local services for residents within the East Village. Learn more at our website: www.evccnyc.org.
The East Village Consumer Survey is made possible with the support of AvenueNYC, a program of the NYC Department of Small Business Services.