Tales of Retail
While real estate and business groups opposed the Upper West Side rezoning that places restrictions on retail establishments, James Gardener, a native of the neighborhood and The Real Deal‘s architecture critic, makes a compelling case for the legislation.
He argues that the rezoning improves not only the retail mix on the stretch, not always great, but also the street life, that most essential of New York experiences, a landmark more important even than the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty, perhaps. For after all, it is at street level where so many of us live, not in these hokey locales.
Tails of Retail
Can you legislate a storefront? That is what the Upper West Side is hoping. For more than a year, the Department of City Planning worked at a plan to rezone a swath of the once tawdry, now tony neighborhood, to protect the retail character on its main shopping strips. The plan, which has been opposed by local landlords, just won the conditional support of Borough President Scott Stringer.
Gettin' High Line
It’s a good thing no one drives in Manhattan, because pretty soon there will be nowhere for repairs. (PropertyShark)
The High Line has been held up as a dynamo of economic development, generating billions of dollars in new condos, boutiques and restaurant, even attracting a museum or two to a lot where cattle carcasses once hung. It’s such a big deal, there’s no room for the little guys.
With Fashion Week only a few days away, a flood of big-name designers are relocating from their long-time midtown home. Oscar de la Renta, Vera Wang and Alice + Olivia have all announced plans to leave the Garment District in the past month, according to DNAinfo. The news comes as a further blow to the languishing Garment District, which the city has been trying to rezone for years in fits and starts.
Once upon a debauched time, West 27th Street was the beat, beat, beating heart of the city’s club scene, with such notorious haunts as Pink Elephant, B.E.D., Spirit and, of course, the queen of them all, Bungalow 8. Marquee still throbs around the corner, but that is about it—all thanks to an elevator shaft and a little rezoning.
Best Laid Plans
For years, planners and politicos have talked about transforming Brooklyn’s dingy Fourth Avenue into the borough’s own version of Park Avenue. That transformation is still in the works, but thanks to a handful of rezonings along the thoroughfare, the strip has gotten its fair share of mid-sized apartment buildings. Leaning more Robert Scarano than Rosario Candela, it is not exactly the sexiest strip. But one issue that has caused some real complaints within the community is the utter lack of street life.