Storefront improvement program underway; more to come


BY John Bayles

The much-anticipated storefront improvement program along the crossroads of Fulton and Nassau is underway. This week the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) in cooperation with the New York City Department of City Planning (DCP) announced the installation of the first five storefront renovations.

NYCEDC President Seth Pinsky said, “Fulton Street as it exists, is an extremely important artery in Lower Manhattan and will become more so as construction projects are completed.”

When all is said done, Fulton Street will terminate at the World Trade Center on the west end and at the South Street Seaport on the east end. There are 80 building sand approximately 150 storefronts on the street, according to Pinsky. So far, 80 of those storefronts have signed up for the program.

The program consists of three tiers. Tier one covers basic storefront improvements such as new signage and replacing security grates. The second tier covers improvements such as new lighting, replacement of air conditioning and ventilation, improvements to store windows and ground floor façade detailing. And tier three covers improvements include window replacement or renovation, cornice and parapet repair, main entrance and/or replacement of façade material for entire façade.

Pinsky said to date, the NYCEDC has received applications from 80 stores to be included in the program. Of those, 64 have been improved and the vast majority fall under the tier one category.

“These are obviously challenging times for small businesses,” said Pinsky. “And excess capital is something that many business have struggled with in this environment. To allow them to improve their marketing to the street is a great boon to the business and is also a benefit to the community and the city more generally by creating a nicer business environment.”

Pinsky said the tie-in is that more appealing stores will draw in more people and more money and in doing so, a “virtuous cycle” will be created.

It’s another important piece in the transformation of Lower Manhattan that has been occurring over the last 8 years under the mayor. In addition to the dramatic increase in the residential population and the pocket parks, we’re continuing to invest in Lower Manhattan and make it an even more desirable place to live, shop and work.”