Special District

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

  • 2 PM TUE MAY 19 Weekly Manhattan Chamber of Commerce webinar: Preparing Your Required COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan for Business Reopening in New York State Read More
  • Jane’s Walk From Home Join EVCC on our Jane’s Walk From Home! Saving History: Community Advocacy in the East Village Touring the streets surrounding Tompkins Square Park through historic photos from Urban Archives, we look at moments in time where the actions of neighbors, activists and local organizations helped change the course of history. Learn how constant advocacy through zoning, ... Read More
  • COVID open essential businesses Find out which businesses are still open in the EV Read More
  • 2 PM TUE APR 14 Weekly Manhattan Chamber of Commerce webinar Rent Relief for Small Businesses and Unemployment Insurance for Solo Entrepreneurs Read More
  • 1PM FRI APR 10 EVIMA Webinar with Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and the Small Business Administration (SBA): Live Q & A   Read More
  • NEW Resources for Small Businesses impacted by COVID-19 We have collated some resources to help local small businesses impacted by COVID-19 outbreak. Read More
  • Register for our Jane’s Walks May 4 & 5! Saving History: Community Advocacy in the East Village 11AM SAT MAY 4  1PM SUN MAY 5 We’ll tour locations around Tompkins Square Park where community advocacy has changed the course of history, highlighting both landmarked buildings and others whose futures are currently being decided.We’ll finish by looking at the independent retail shops of East 9th Street! Join longtime resident / ... Read More
  • Small Business News! CB 3 Meeting WED 4/25 Join us to hear Cooper Square Committee’s information on the Commercial Lease Assistance Program and the City Council’s Planning for Retail Diversity Report CB 3 Economic Development Committee 6:30 pm WED 4/25 University Settlement Houston Street Center 473 Bowery Despite the changes we see every day, our neighborhood is still a very special place! Please help preserve what we have. The City Council’s report expresses support for initiatives for which ... Read More
  • Please Comment On LPC Rules Changes, Update On Keep The Cap Please comment on LPC Rules Changes! There is still time to comment on LPC rules changes. Public notice and the opportunity to comment are essential to good government. Sign on to GVSHP’s letter today!  Neighbors, elected officials, Community Boards and preservationists turned out in force to voice concerns about the proposed set of changes to Landmarks Preservation Commission rules. With no public notice of applications ... Read More
  • Love Our Local Merchants What’s not to love? EVCC’s 2018 Get Local Guide is full of lovely spots for: beautiful blooms ironic tees sweet treats thoughtful gifts vintage pops of red Spread the Love Share your finds on Yelp and Instagram #VivaEastVillage @evimanyc For extra xoxo’s  Sign GVSHP’s petition in support of the Small Business Jobs Survival Act (SBJSA): https://secure2.convio.net/gvshp/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=131  Thanks for all you do! Read More