Agreement includes vital quality of life conditions and a cap of 10,000 square feet to address proliferation of large-scale retail in this historic and iconic community

NEW YORK – Council Member Margaret S. Chin and Community Board 2 Chair Terri Cude released the following statement after securing an agreement at 462 Broadway that restricts individual retail establishments from exceeding 10,000 square feet of selling space, and sets strict quality of life regulations determined by the Community Board:

“The SoHo community is under daily siege by illegal large-scale retail. This agreement at 462 Broadway to approve retail use below the second floor, but only for stores with less than 10,000 square feet of selling space including the cellar, includes tough new quality of life restrictions to address persistent
issues like overnight deliveries, trash, illumination, and sidewalk-jamming pop-up events. Most importantly, it creates a desperately needed new paradigm in this iconic neighborhood. The proposal being voted on today is vastly different than the massive cellar-to-third floor single space submitted earlier this year. Thanks to the hard work and persistence of residents, Community Board 2, and elected officials, a hard line has been drawn in our community. By reaching this agreement, we have won acknowledgement that  oversized retail has no place in SoHo, or in any other densely populated and
historic district.”

The terms of the agreement voted on today by the Council’s Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises represent a substantial reduction in the size of the original proposal, which initially sought to establish a retail space that would include a colossal 45,000 square feet at the already highly congested corner of Broadway and Broome Street. Built in 1880, ground floor of 462 Broadway formerly housed the International Culinary Center, which continues to lease the upper floors of the cast-iron building.

At a City Council hearing in July, Council Member Chin joined Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and members of Community Board 2 to oppose the original application, which not only permitted over-sized retail but also lacked critical good neighbor provisions.

Leading up to today’s vote, residents and Community Board 2 members reached out to elected and other city officials to emphasize the need for small retail spaces in character with this historic neighborhood, along with the inclusion of tough new restrictions to protect the quality of life of residents. This agreement, which includes all of the criteria outlined in an April Community Board 2 letter sent to the City Planning Commission, will hopefully become a model for a community overburdened by oversized retail. The Land Use Committee will vote on the agreement on Aug. 22nd, after which the full Council is expected to approve the measure after Labor Day.

###