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.
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
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.
By supporting Formula Retail Zoning, the EVCC tries to keep our neighborhood free from chains
Earlier this summer, on June 12, the Graduate Cener for Planning and the Environment at Pratt Institute had some good news for the Lower East Side. In a presentation at St. Mark’s Church for the Neighborhood Presentation Center, the Pratt Group discussed the first draft of a study that provides a comprehensive plan to encourage small local businesses on the Lower East Side and discourage large chains.
The primary recommendation of the study, lead by Professors Vicki Weiner and Jonathan Martin, is for the East Village to seek designation as a “special district.” This would allow the area to enforce Formula Retail Zoning — which is an imposing name for a system that sets some limits on the types of businesses in an area in order to preserve the local retail environment. The study, which was commissioned by the EVCC, is one of the most comprehensive investigations into Formula Retail Zoning in New York City’s history.
The EVCC’s goal is to present the study, when it is completed later this year, to locally elected politicians, city planning commissioners, and the Mayors office and help them understand why the “special district” designation is so important for the future of the neighborhood.
As part of that process, videographer Nicholas Whitaker (who did such a great job with his video chronicle of the first Lower East Side Kids’ Art Bike Parade in 2007) has been asked by the EVCC to make a film that demonstrates the way local merchants improve street life. For instance, he will contrast vibrant streets full of local merchants — like East 9th Street — with “dead zones” where chains have invaded, like the stretch of Houston where Whole Foods has generated a wall of glass that discourages community-style street life. The film, which will be shot this fall, will be ready for presentation to authorities by the end of this year.
As the EVCC gets closer to making an official presentation of a plan, community support will be needed. If you have thoughts about the value of Formula Retail Zoning, please log-in or register in the left hand column of this page, and post your thoughts below.