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Side-by-Side, East Village Chain Stores Would Span 16 City Blocks (Plus: Map)

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There’s been much ado about chain stores lately: last month, anarchists targeted a new 7-Eleven; earlier this week, Community Board 3 continued its discussion on retail diversity; and now a petition calls for a halt to the perceived chain invasion in the East Village. But just how many chains are in the neighborhood, anyway? The Local pounded the pavement to find out.

The petition claims that “zip code 10003, which we all know as the East Village, now has the most national retail stores of any zip code in NYC (except for one that has a huge shopping mall).” Not exactly true: a recent study by the Center for an Urban Future found 169 chain retailers in the zip code, actually the third-most in the city. Since the 10003 zip includes parts of the Flatiron District and Gramercy (and only part of the East Village), the question remains: how much of the East Village do chain stores own?

Here’s what we found: if one were to place every national chain store, bank, restaurant, and movie theater in the East Village side-by-side, they would span 16 city blocks, and that’s with stores on both sides of the street. Read more…

D.E.P. Sides With Neighbors on Deli Noise, But That Isn’t Quieting Them

IMG_2649Stephen Rex Brown Tommy McKean points at the air conditioner that keeps him up at night.

Last week, a city inspector validated what a group of residents in a 13th Street building had said for over a month: that a ventilator unit on the roof was too loud.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Environmental Protection said, “The kitchen equipment made more noise than is allowed by the provision that sets a standard in decibels and our readings.”

Now, the management of the Hamptons Marketplace deli that uses the unit must go before an Environmental Control Board in November, where a judge will levy fines (generally from $560 to $875) if it’s found the business is not in compliance.

But Tommy McKean, a resident who lives directly below the ventilator is not satisfied, and raised the possibility of picketing outside of the deli at First Avenue with his neighbors should the equipment on the roof continue to whir. Read more…

A Heated Battle Over Air Conditioning Units

Tommy McKean and the air conditionersStephen Rex Brown Tommy McKean says that the whir of the air conditioning units directly above his apartment is a constant nuisance.

This time of year, the whir of an air conditioning unit is usually reassuring. But for several tenants living at East 13th Street and First Avenue, two industrial-strength air conditioning units on the roof of their building are instead a constant torment.

“It’s like a helicopter hovering overhead all day,” said Tommy McKean, who lives directly below the units on the fifth floor of the building. “For ten minutes, it’s not so bad. But for 24 hours a day it’s awful.” Read more…