East Village Consumer Survey Results

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.

 

FINDINGS:

  • We learned that the most important initiatives are:
    • Retain existing businesses
    • Attract independent stores and boutiques.
    • The least desired initiative is to attract national retailers. Fewer than 2 percent of all respondents feel this is very important.
  • Respondents expressed a low level of satisfaction cleanliness and litter control (22%). This response was consistent among residents (regardless of their length of residency) and non-residents.
  • Among all respondents the most mentioned reason for not visiting more often is that merchandise prices are too high (46%).
  • Among all of the goods and services offered respondents identified 7 categories that were selected most frequently as reason they would visit more often:
    • Independent retail stores and books were selected by two-thirds of all respondents.
    • Recorded music, specialty foods, crafts and hobbies, housewares, and grocery store were selected by one-half of all respondents.
    • Noticeably absent from the preferred selections were clothing and accessories stores, drinking establishments (9%), and national retail stores (5%).
  • The most valuable source of information is the East Village blog site EVgrieve.com, which was described as very valuable by 71 percent of all responses.

Retail Diversity in the East Village

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.

Overview

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.

All Primary with Vacancy

 

Drinking Establishments + Food Service

In total Drinking Establishments and Food Services make up 35.8% of all East Village storefronts

Food and Drink

Business CategoryNumber of BusinessesPortion of Storefronts
Total Drinking & Food58235.60%
Restaurants & Cafes42224.10%
Bars1498.50%
Other Food (Ice cream, frozen yogurt, dessert, juice bar, etc.)523.00%

Avenues2nd Avenue1st AvenueAvenue C
Total Storefronts15819292
Restaurants & Cafes446815
Bars221711
Other Food731
Percent Bars + Food Service46.00%46.00%29.00%
Streets1st St.6th St.7th St.St. Marks Pl.10th St.
Percent Bars + Food Service31.00%36.00%32.00%41.00%31.00%
Total Storefronts39749313871
Bars2710132
Restaurants & Cafes819164013
Other Food21447

Retail

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.

Retail

Retail TypeNumber of StoresPercent of Total Retail
Total362100.00%
Food + Beverage12535.00%
Clothing9125.00%
Hobbies, Sports + Music6317.00%
Household4111.00%
Personal Care267.00%
General Merchandise 164.00%

Local Services

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.

Local Services

Local ServiceNumber of StoresPercent of Local Services
Total249100.00%
Barber or Hair Salon8635.00%
Dry Cleaner or Laundry6426.00%
Spa or Body Work4920.00%
Tattoos + Body Alteration166.00%
Pet Supplies135.00%
Repair114.00%
Other Services83.00%
Auto Repair21.00%

Chains

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

Chain StoresVacancies

At the time of the survey there were 196 storefront vacancies within the East Village, or an 11% vacancy rate.

Vacancies

The full presentation of the data can be seen here. 

 

 

 

 

 

REPORT: Anticipating and Adapting to Community Changes in the East Village

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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.

Anticipating and Adapting to Community Changes in the East Village

NYU Wagner Capstone Team: Presentation for EVCC

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.

The East Village Merchants Association Launches “East Village Loves”, A Campaign To Support Merchants Affected By The East Village Blast

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“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.

#SaveNYC

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.

Learn more about #SaveNYC and how to get involved today

NY State Court of Appeals Agrees to Hear Case Against NYU Expansion Plan

In the latest installment of the ongoing struggle against NYU’s huge expansion plan, the State’s highest court, the New York State Court of Appeals, has agreed to hear a case that was filed by petitioners in mid-November regarding public parkland. The lawsuit has passed through two lower courts, with differing results. Those following the dispute, especially park advocates, are awaiting a verdict that could have massive ramifications on the way that the City and the State deal with public parks in the future.

On October 14th, the Appellate Division’s First Department overturned a lower court’s decision that would have spared three parks—Mercer Playground, LaGuardia Park and LaGuardia Corner Gardens—from destruction under NYU’s current expansion plan. According to the lower court’s ruling, all three strips are public parks, and therefore entitled to protection, since the public has been using them as parks for many years, making them “implied” parkland, with the City funding, labeling and maintaining them as parks.

NYU and the City counter-argued that those parks aren’t really parks, since they were never “mapped” as parks (a bureaucratic technicality), and are nominally overseen by the City’s Department of Transportation. The First Department’s decision would allow NYU to raze those treasured parks to make way for its vast expansion plan, and set a precedent that could potentially threaten countless public parks throughout the City and the State.

Petitioners, NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Historic Districts Council, Washington Square Village Tenants’ Association, East Village Community Coalition, Friends of Petrosino Square, LaGuardia Corner Gardens, Inc., Lower Manhattan Neighbors’ Organization, SoHo Alliance, Bowery Alliance of Neighbors, NoHo Neighborhood Association, Assembly Member Deborah Glick and 10 other individuals, are represented on a pro bono basis by the law firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, with Randy Mastro as lead attorney.

Their motion papers make clear that “the First Department’s decision disregarded well-established common law principles for determining when municipal land has been impliedly dedicated for parks usage. In recognition of the unique value that public parks hold for children, families, and communities, the Public Trust Doctrine accords parkland special protection.”

The petitioners are asking the Court of Appeals to consider two issues: that the First Department’s decision actually conflicts with prior appellate court decisions, and prior decisions by the Court of Appeals itself, about this kind of “implied” parkland, and that the First Department’s decision, if left intact, will have the effect of abolishing implied dedication—a consequence with widespread negative effects, not just in New York City, but throughout the State.

Parks and open spaces are protected by the Public Trust Doctrine, which maintains that the government holds the titles to certain waters and lands in trust for the people. In New York State, if an entity wishes to develop or remove a parcel of parkland from public ownership and use, it must follow a legal process called “alienation,” which, among other conditions, requires approval from the state Legislature. This was not done in the case of the Village parks that NYU wants to destroy for its ill-advised expansion plan. The First Department’s decision flies in the face of this doctrine and of its own decisions, and would imperil all kinds of public and green spaces throughout the state; it would leave ordinary New Yorkers with no protection against the removal and abuse of open spaces and parks for development.

City issues permits for restoration work at P.S. 64

Since receiving the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s blessing in 2013, Gregg Singer may finally be moving forward with restoration work at former P.S. 64/ CHARAS – El Bohio. The landmarked school building has been vacant following the eviction of the former tenants of El Bohio led by CHARAS in 2001. The City reversed its short-lived approval for plans to convert the building into a multi-school “dormitory” this past September.

The project’s future is uncertain, but the exterior work may begin soon. The owner got the okay from Landmarks more than a year ago to perform restorative work to replace damaged architectural details and to install new windows. Two permits from the Department of Buildings issued in January allow for repairs to the dormers, mansard roof, roofing, and the facade. LPC also supported alterations to carve along the edges of the raised courtyards to create windows at ground level for dorm rooms. It does not appear that the permits issued allow for this component of the work.

While the permits are dated 2015, the owner set the start date for the work in August, prior to the project’s approval and subsequent Stop Work Order. The DOB maintains its objections to the dormitory plan, which Singer will need to resolve before moving forward with any interior work. We support the City’s objections to the project as presented and maintain that a dormitory is an improper use for the site.

Old P.S 64 has endured several major weather events while unsealed including Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy. The condition of the building is not entirely due to wear-and-tear; at the time of landmarks designation, many architectural details suffered damage by the workers. Facade and architectural restoration work is welcome if it will protect this historic neighborhood gem. We will watch to see if, after years of decay, some restorative work begins here.

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Petition: Establish a Community Gardens District in Community Board 3

Petitioning the City Of New York to
Establish a Community Gardens District that includes all community gardens within Community Board 3, and map and designate these gardens as parklands.

On January 15th, the CB3 Parks Committee unanimously passed a resolution in support of establishing a Community Gardens District. The full board will vote at their monthly item on Thursday, January 29th at University Settlement, Speyer Hall, 184 Eldridge Street (btwn Rivington & Delancey Sts). Supporters of the district are encouraged to attend.

Community Board 3 (CB3) is the birthplace of community gardens in New York City and New York State. In 1973, the first garden was established in CB3 by local activists who worked to reverse years of decline and neglect by public and private property owners.

At one time, there were fifty-seven registered community gardens in CB3, and dozens more operating independently. As the neighborhood evolved, however, numerous gardens were bulldozed as development proceeded.

Today, there are still forty-six community gardens located in CB3 – the highest density in New York City. Community Board 3 has been strengthened by the history of its community gardens, which provide environmental, cultural, aesthetic, ecological, economic, and artistic benefits to this community, and more.

While gardens located on City-owned lots are of indisputable value, they unfortunately are not permanent. We are asking that all community gardens in CB3 be mapped and designated as parklands by the City of New York, designated a special Community Gardens District, and continue to be managed by community-based volunteers.

Sign the petition to show your support.

Plan to remove buildings from LPC’s calendar dropped

tifereth israel

Nearly one hundred potential landmarks are protected after the Landmarks Preservation Commission withdrew its proposal to remove these buildings from its calendar for consideration. The vote planned for this week would have unilaterally “de-calendared” buildings in all five boroughs, leaving them open to alteration or demolition without review.

In the East Village, 138 Second Avenue is among the buildings that could have lost this crucial protective status. This 19th-century federal-style home was declared worthy of consideration in 2009. Without a vote in October, the neighborhood’s newest designated landmark Tifereth Israel would have also been removed from LPC’s calendar for consideration. The community achieved a swift victory in part because the building, calendared in 1966, was immediately eligible for a hearing and designation.

Former commissioners found the buildings on the list worthy of LPC’s consideration. If de-calendared, each building would need to be calendared again – a required step in the landmarks process – before coming before today’s commission for designation.

The LPC also drew criticism for failing to schedule public review of the controversial plan. We are grateful to be a part of a preservation community that created the awareness that successfully ended the proposal. We urge the LPC to dedicate its resources to hearing these structures individually for designation.

 

City Raises Objections to “Dorm” Plan for PS64

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The Department of Buildings has issued a Stop Work Order and moved to revoke a partial permit for the dorm conversion planned for former PS64/ CHARAS – El Bohio. In response to Councilmember Rosie Mendez’s letter dated September 3rd, the DOB raised objections to the approved conversion plan, which had earned agency support based on misinformation. The plan violates the zoning code and the “dorm rule”, a hard-fought protection on the speculative development of student housing.

The collective efforts of community groups, community members and the community board with a unified group of elected officials led by CM Mendez kept the energy and pressure needed to reverse the City’s decision. We continue to demand the return of this landmark building to true community use.

The EVCC remains dedicated to ensuring that the historic PS64 building and the intent for future use at the time of its sale are honored. Join us, other community groups, residents, and CM Mendez with other elected officials at a rally/ press conference on Sunday, 1pm at 605 East 9th Street (Avenues B & C)!

East Village Community Coalition
143 Avenue B - Simplex
New York, NY 10009
212-979-2344