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
- East Village Community Organizations Release “Crisis and Adaptation: Storefront Trends in the East Village, 2019 – 2021”The report explores storefront vacancies, retail mix, merchant stories, and changes in the commercial landscape since 2019. Read the report now!Read More
- Jazz, Zumba, and a Puppet Show on Ave B Open Street! 1-5 PM SAT SEP 24Open Arts LES continues on Ave B Open Street! Join our collaborators FABnyc and Loisaida Open Streets Community Coalition on Sept 24. Zumba starts at 1 PM, followed by a Jazz performance with Erli Perez at 2:30 PM and a trash constructed puppet show with URBANO’s CIRCUS at 3:45 PMRead More
- The Circus is Coming to Ave B Open Street on SAT Sept 17!Come see the circus in Lower East Side this Saturday, Sept 17! Clowns, jugglers, wire walkers, acrobats, aerial acts and more! Join us and FABnyc and to welcome Bindlestiff Flatbed Follies to the Ave B Open Street, sponsored by NYC DOTRead More
- Tompkins Square Park Cleanup! 10 AM SUN Sept 11Join us for a park cleanup at the corner of 7th Street and Avenue A at 10 AM! Sponsored by Assembly Member Harvey Epstein. All materials will be provided.Read More
- Jazz + Rhythm! Live Music and Zumba on Ave B Open Street! 1-5 PM SAT SEP 10Open Arts LES is back on Ave B! Join our collaborators FABnyc and Loisaida Open Streets Community Coalition on Sept 10. Zumba returns at 1PM, and Mari Bel and Vivi Hu will provide fabulous musical performances from 2-5pm.Read More
- LES Summer Showdown Basketball Tournament! 10 AM – 6 PM SAT SEP 3 in Tompkins Square Park and on the Ave B Open Street!Join FABnyc, Loisaida Open Streets Community Coalition and the 9th Precinct Youth Coordination Officers for games, giveaways, arts workshops and more!Read More
- Tompkins Square Park Cleanup! 10 AM SUN AUG 21Assembly member Harvey Epstein has organized a park cleanup for Tompkins Square. Meet-up at the corner of 7th Street and Avenue A at 10 AM. All materials will be provided!Read More
- Jazz + Rhythm! Live Music and Zumba on Ave B Open Street! 1-5 PM SAT AUG 20Join us for August’s last Open Arts LES with our collaborators FABnyc and Loisaida Open Streets Community Coalition! Zumba returns at 1PM, and The Kate Cosco / Laura Dreyer Jazz project and experimental Argentinian troop Duo Chuno will provide fabulous musical performances from 2-5pm! Off for a brief recess, OpenArtsLES returns to Ave B on ...Read More
- Jazz + Tango Performances on Ave B Open Street! 1-5 PM SAT AUG 13Got plans for this weekend’s perfect weather? We do! Join us for a FREE Zumba class with the 14th Street Y at 1pm, and then stick around for Jazz and Tango performances by Kimberly Fergie and Los Chantas Tango NYC from 2-5pm as part of OpenArtsLES! FABnyc’s amazing resident artists will also teaching us the ...Read More
- New FREE Wednesday evening dance fitness classes on the Ave B Open Street!FREE fitness in the streets from LOSCC and our friends at the 14th Street Y! All levels welcome! Ave B and 11th Street 5:30 pm Masala Bhangra with Cloe 6:30 pm Heart & Soul Cardio with JohariRead More
- Citywide Dance Party on Ave B Open Street! 12-5 PM SAT AUG 6Dance your way down to the Avenue B Open Street! Start the afternoon with Zumba at Noon from our Friends at the 14th Street Y! Keep the beat alive! Salsa Lessons with instructor Marlon Mills at 1pm! Then groove to musical performances hosted by Open Arts LES from 2-5 pm, featuring salsa band Sonido Costeno and African diasporic tunes ...Read More