In partnership with civic technology organization, BetaNYC, we have collected data to map out where microfulfillment centers associated with venture-capital-backed rapid-delivery apps are across the City.
These centers operate as warehouses, but take up commercial storefront space.
In most cases these stores do not comply with zoning or Consumer Affairs regulations, meaning customers are not allowed inside, windows are glazed or obstructed, and they do not accept cash transactions.
Analysis found that out of 115 centers, 93 (81%) are operating outside of 16D zoning designation which permits warehouses. In December of 2021, then Borough President Gale Brewer and BetaNYC conducted a survey of Manhattan locations, identifying 25 centers. This updated survey identifies 48 in Manhattan, making it apparent that these stores continue to proliferate without apparent government action. This map could be a tool for the city to exercise oversight and enforcement.
You can see where the locations are here: https://beta.nyc/2022/03/01/darkstores-and-zoning/
You can report locations that are not on the map here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfNnH0fCf214nfCHxRSIHu0GueibGpDEtRco9ijmY3SD_n3sw/viewform
You can share your feedback with us on microfulfillment centers here: https://forms.gle/b6X9tLJU8SAdnsKm9
April 18, 2022 Press Release: Council Member Gale Brewer Again Calls on City Agencies to Provide Clarity on Regulation of Microfulfillment Centers