Small and large scale retail are largely defined in relation to their size and type of use. Smaller scale retail is meant to meet local needs and occupy less than 10,000 square feet. Examples of small retail include barber shops and banks. Large scale retail generally refers to stores that serve a wider geographic area and that exceed 10,000 square feet. Examples of large scale retail include department stores and national retail chains. Due to idiosyncrasies in the Zoning Resolution, some retail uses have no size restrictions, including hardware, shoe, sporting goods, and stationary stores.
Large scale retail is permitted to locate in SoHo via three regulations or processes:
In order to avoid getting a special permit for large scale retail, developers or businesses can break up establishments which are greater than 10,000 square feet into multiple “stores” with spaces of less than 10,000 square feet located within the larger establishment. For example, an establishment can be divided into smaller stores such as a women’s clothing store and a men’s clothing store – each operated separately from the other. Some stores used this approach based on DOB guidance from the 2000s, but the agency has since indicated that this approach is no longer permitted.To SoHo Zoning Guidebook See All FAQ