The EVCC works to support independent small businesses in our neighborhood to help maintain the diverse, unique community that has long thrived here and is essential for our future. Through community input and our Formula Retail Working Group, we analyzed the current state of formula retail within the East Village. The EVCC’s 2015 Preserving Local, Independent Retail report includes a set of proposals for limiting chain stores in the neighborhood through zoning reforms.
According to the Center for Urban Future, 2017 marked the ninth consecutive year there was a net increase in national chain stores throughout the five boroughs. To defend communities against this homogenizing trend, San Francisco and NYC’s own Upper West Side have turned to formula retail regulation.
In 2008, three corridors on NYC’s Upper West Side were rezoned as “Special Districts” in an attempt to offset a trend toward store frontages being overtaken by banks and apartment lobbies. The zoning now limits the storefront sizes and certain store conversions or changes in use. The City Council’s December 2017 report, Planning for Retail Diversity, states “restrictions on storefront sizes have been effective in stabilizing the number of storefronts on Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues and preventing the displacement of existing businesses for storefront mergers”.
San Francisco is the largest urban area in the US to have strict formula retail business restrictions. San Francisco’s zoning only allows formula retail in certain neighborhoods; requires neighborhood notifications before any chain retail is permitted; and can limit the size and type of formula retail allowed in a given area. The San Francisco Department of Planning’s website details the restrictions and provides residents with a link where they can find out exact zoning for specific sites.
The EVCC continues to press for any and all measures to support local independent business, and is working with CB 3 on a proposed Special District for the East Village.
Latest News on Our Efforts
- Tompkins Square Park Community Cleanup 11 AM SAT OCT 10Meet at the Field House (9th St btwn Ave A & B). We’ll be there for a few hours, join when you can! Weed, prune, clean up litter. Please bring your own masks & gloves; tools & refreshments will be provided.Read More
- LUNGS Harvest Arts Festival SAT & SUN OCT 3 & 4 in the gardensEnjoy art, performances and happenings in the community gardens this weekend! Schedule of EventsRead More
- Reel Ecologies Film Festival FRI to SUN OCT 2 – 4 in the gardensFrom MoRUS & Green Map, to benefit Sixth Street Community Center’s food distribution program: RSVP or purchase tix! RSVP or purchase tix this year, to help keep everyone safe!Read More
- Green Map Climate Week Tour 6 PM FRI SEP 25Outdoor and indoor exhibition tour at MoRUS 155 Avenue C!Read More
- Open by Flint Collective through SUN SEP 20Take a night walk of the neighborhood with a series of temporary light installations occupying a selection of East Village storefronts. Open to discover in one’s own time, order and (socially distanced) space.Read More
- Manhattan Chamber webinar 12 PM THU JUL 9Weekly Manhattan Chamber of Commerce webinar: Small business money management in times of crisisRead More
- NYC Phase 3 Reopening starts Monday, July 6!Indoor dining is not yet permitted in NYC. Outdoor dining is permitted on sidewalks and in parking lanes. Seating cannot exceed business frontage and is not allowed in bike lanes, bus stops, crosswalks, etc. See diagrams and a list of restrictions, along with very important additional information in FAQs. Retail and licensed hair care providers are ...Read More
- Storefront Photography Workshop Premiere 6 PM THU JUN 25!Join James & Karla Murray for the YouTube Premiere of their Storefront Photography / Oral History Workshop with LiveChat! Subscribe to their channel for profiles of your neighborhood favorites!Read More
- NYC Phase 2 Reopening starts Monday, June 22!Outdoor dining is permitted on sidewalks and in parking lanes. Seating cannot exceed business frontage and is not allowed in bike lanes, bus stops, crosswalks, etc. See diagrams and a full list of restrictions here. Retail and licensed hair care providers are permitted to open under industry-specific guidelines. Other personal care services: tattoo or piercing ...Read More
- Manhattan Chamber webinar 2 PM TUE MAY 19Weekly Manhattan Chamber of Commerce webinar: Preparing Your Required COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan for Business Reopening in New York StateRead More