On Saturday, members of the Cooper Square Committee, FABnyc, the East Village Community Coalition and the Greenwich Village Society For Historic Preservation were out on Avenue B talking to residents about the surplus of vacant storefronts.
They invited people walking by 44 Avenue B between Third Street and Fourth Street "to think about what they need in the neighborhood that could fit in the currently empty space."
Here's more via the Cooper Square Committee:
There are over 200 vacant storefronts in the East Village, according to a count done by EVCC over the summer and fall. On Avenue B, nearly one in five storefronts is empty.
The event organizers are asking for the City Council to introduce policies and legislation that will protect, support and preserve small businesses in New York. Specifically, they are advocating for a citywide vacancy registry and penalty on landlords who deliberately warehouse space.
This local action is connected to the #EndCommercialVacancy campaign, a citywide effort coordinated by United for Small Business NYC (USBNYC).
Among the suggestions passersby made for businesses to fill some of these vacant spaces: a bakery selling fresh bread and a store offering affordable healthy food.
From the EVG archives:
There are more than 20 empty storefronts along Avenue B (December 2008)