A well-designed storefront offers transparency from the street into the business within. “Storefront” also describes the open relationship between a business and the public, often referring to a specific type of business, one with a more direct connection to the public. Even before the pandemic, we were witnessing an alarming increase in the number of empty stores in retail districts across all five boroughs. How can we work towards maintaining the charming shopping and dining experience so beloved by New Yorkers and our visitors?

This program will highlight efforts already in place pre-pandemic to assist in revitalizing New York City storefronts and facades by offering financial assistance and design guidelines. These efforts are administered by the NYC Department of Small Business Services and local Business Improvement Districts (BIDs). The panel will present an overview of existing city efforts. Current initiatives along Jamaica Avenue in Queens and Pitkin Avenue in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn will be presented as detailed case studies. The impact of this form of incremental urban revitalization will be explored as a model for future work.

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