FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mark Dicus, Executive Director
NEW YORK, Jan. 6, 2020 – After participating as part of the Advisory Group over an intensive six-month stakeholder engagement process, the SoHo Broadway Initiative (SBI) is encouraged by the release of the Envision SoHo/NoHo Summary of Findings and Recommendations by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Council Member Margaret Chin, and the Department of City Planning.
The report’s recommendations, which will be presented to the public during a release event on Wednesday, January 8th at 6 p.m. at Scholastic, 130 Mercer Street, closely align with SBI’s adopted planning goals, which are enthusiastically supported by residential and commercial stakeholders from SoHo Broadway.
“The Initiative applauds the report’s prioritization of addressing quality of life issues,” said SBI Vice President and resident Emily Hellstrom. “We are eager to collaborate with the City to alleviate sidewalk/roadway congestion, maximize opportunities for open space, improve waste management and deliveries, and reduce light pollution.”
Importantly, the report also supports allowing people to live in SoHo without being an artist and allowing retail uses as of right on the ground floor and cellar level throughout the study area, while also taking important steps to strengthen creative industries and the artistic community.
“It is time to update the zoning to let non-artists live legally in SoHo and to allow retail as of right” added Mary Rolland, SBI board member, artist, and longtime SoHo Broadway resident. “Retail and residential uses have been thriving in SoHo for decades; the rules are long-overdue for an update.”
“It’s important that we come up with an approach that works for businesses, is easy to follow, and provides the flexibility that businesses need to respond to changing trends,” said SBI board member and longtime member of the SoHo community, John Pasquale.
“We look forward to working with our elected officials, City agencies, Community Board 2, community groups, and neighbors to simultaneously pursue those recommendations that deliver the transformational solutions required to address SoHo’s challenges in regard to quality of life, zoning, and more,” said SBI President Brian Steinwurtzel.
Concurrent with the Envision SoHo/NoHo process, the SoHo Broadway Initiative developed and adopted a series of planning goals designed to meet the primary needs of both residential and commercial interests to enhance the overall unique mixed-use environment found along SoHo Broadway.
The Initiative believes that pursuing strategies that achieve these planning goals will foster an environment that is attractive to residents, businesses and visitors for decades to come:
“It’s time to get to work to implement transformational change to ensure SoHo’s status as a premier artistic, residential, retail, and office community is maintained and strengthened. This moment requires strong leadership from elected officials and community groups collaborating to deliver the bold solutions required to address SoHo’s challenges,” said SBI Executive Director Mark Dicus. “Let’s make SoHo better together and ensure the neighborhood continues as a unique crown jewel of New York City.”
About the SoHo Broadway Initiative:
The SoHo Broadway Initiative is a Neighborhood Improvement District. We serve those who live and work here in SoHo Broadway Corridor. Our mission is to improve the neighborhood and foster a unique, vibrant, mixed-use district. Visit sohobroadway.org or call 212-390-1131 for further information.