EAST VILLAGE — A new report proposes turning the East Village into a “special purpose district” to limit the number of chain stores in the area and preserve local retail.
The number of chain stores in the neighborhood is low — making up just 3.6 percent of the area’s businesses — but their ranks have gone up in recent years, mirroring a trend citywide, according to a report released Tuesday by the East Village Community Coalition.
“As the trend toward homogenization progresses in New York…a timely solution is needed to preserve the individuality of the city’s neighborhoods,” said Sara Romanoski, EVCC’s managing director, in a press release.
“Placing restrictions on formula retail establishments via zoning amendments provides a path to preserving the rapidly changing East Village.”
Three types of zoning regulations could be used to curb large national chains in the neighborhood, according to the report.
One recommendation suggests placing a district-wide ban on chains, while another proposes physical regulations that could put a limit on square footage and prohibit businesses from combining storefronts from two different buildings.
A third recommendation lies somewhere in the middle: the district would be subject to physical regulations but would allow national chains to operate with a special use permit granted by the City Planning Commission.
Residents can learn more about the proposal at a June 24 roundtable hosted by the EVCC at Downtown Art, located at 61 E. Fourth St., from 6 to 8 p.m. Participants can register online to attend the free event.