Zara Looks to Legalize its Oversized SoHo Flagship Store

Posted on: October 16th, 2019 at 5:07 am by

Photo: Google Maps

The flagship Zara store on Broadway is hoping to legalize its SoHo footprint by altering the current zoning.

Zara, which purchased the commercial condo at 503 Broadway in 2015 for $284 million, occupies a much larger footprint than what is permitted under the current zoning. (Former location of Old Navy from 1998 to 2015.) Once the multinational brand took control of the space, it illegally extended retail operations to the 14,000 square-foot second floor, which is zoned for “factory use.”

Subsequent community pressure from the Broadway Residents Coalition resulted in illegal use violations from Department of Buildings in July 2018. The fines are inconsequential, yet nevertheless impact precedent.

Now, Zara is applying for a special permit from City Planning that legitimizes the status quo at 503 Broadway. Their pitch was heard by the commissioners back in August with plenty of questions; the Land-Use committee of Community Board 2 discussed the application a month later, and will again hear from the Zara troop tonight.

These zoning issues are also part of the broader conversation about the city’s controversial push to rezone the SoHo and NoHo neighborhoods.

Recent Stories

Sheldon Silver, Disgraced Assembly Speaker from LES, Dies at 77

Sheldon Silver, the disgraced powerhouse of the New York State Assembly, and native Lower East Sider, whose career was toppled by a 2015 corruption conviction, died yesterday. He was 77. According to the New York Times, Silver, who maintained a residence at Hillman Houses, had been imprisoned at Devens Federal Medical Center in Ayer, Massachusetts. […]

Cops: Robbers Entered Juice Press through Rivington Hotel Basement

Brazen robbers used the basement of the Hotel on Rivington to hit the Juice Press location next door, cops said. Police sources say that bandits entered the Hotel on Rivington shortly before 6:00am the morning of January 19. Gaining access to the basement, the perps then used the passageway to sneak into the adjacent Juice […]

Neighbors Rally to Help Longtime Printing Shop on Essex Street

A local letterpress printing shop – the last of its kind on the Lower East Side (nay, the city) – is on hard times, but one neighbor is determined to help Y.H. Printing. Desmond Yeoh emigrated to the from Malaysia in 1989. He and his wife opened Y.H. Printing seven years later on Orchard Street […]

Seward Park Cheerleading Squad Raises $30K for Nationals Competion

When the Seward Park High School cheerleading squad qualified for the nationals back in December, the school made history. The Lower East Side institution is reportedly the second public high school in Manhattan to ever qualify for the grand stage. However, the obstacle in their midst was budgetary. No cash for uniforms, travel, and lodging […]

City Readies Demolition of Delancey Foot Bridge to East River Park

With each new day, the destruction of East River Park intensifies. Little is now recognizable as dozens of trees were excised and the historic amphitheater demolished. All as part of the billion-dollar coastal resiliency project. Now, time has come for the pedestrian bridge linking Delancey Street to the park, above the FDR Drive. The city […]