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N.Y.U. 2031, Now Hotel-Free, Clears Another Hurdle

IMG_0086Sarah Darville The City Planning Commission.

New York University reined in its expansion plans further today by eliminating a controversial hotel and accommodations for retail, paving the way for an easy approval from the City Planning Commission.

“The N.Y.U. proposal for the superblocks will provide important new and needed space to one of the city’s most important institutions of higher learning,” said commission chair Amanda Burden, referring to the two blocks south of Washington Square Park that will be the sites of construction.

The green light from the commission did not come as a surprise — Ms. Burden had praised the plan just last week. Only one of the 13 members of the commission voted against the proposal. Read more…

Making It | Paul Brickman of H. Brickman & Sons

P1030373Shira Levine From left, Jason Brickman, his father, Paul Brickman, and in the backgroudn the store manager, Ruben.

For every East Village business that’s opening or closing, dozens are quietly making it. Here’s one of them: H. Brickman & Sons.

Want to stay in business for seventy-nine years in the East Village? H. Brickman & Sons at 55 First Avenue owe their success to two valuable business decisions that Great Grandpa Hyman Brickman made in 1933 when he opened the first location of the hardware store. First, be your own landlord. Second, keep it in the family. Now, the store has employed four generations of Brickmans, and has two other locations at 125 West Third Street and 312 First Avenue near 18th Street. Making It spoke to Brickman’s third generation owner, Paul, about keeping things familial and when it’s time to pass the torch.


How was it decided that this would be a family business?


My grandfather ran it for three decades and then he had my father take it over in the 1960s. Business was too good to let it go. When my father retired about 17 years ago it was my turn. My cousin’s husband and I took it over. Now I’m grooming my son and my cousin’s son who will be the fourth generation to take over. Read more…

Debate Continues: How Best to Stave Off Chains, Bars?

EconomicDevelopmentSbcmteeNatalie Rinn

Could new zoning help bring mom-and-pop businesses to the East Village and Lower East Side, and keep them there? Community Board 3’s Economic Development Subcommittee met last night to continue a discussion about retail diversity.

Mary DeStefano, the Urban Planning Fellow from Hunter College who has been working with the board, again raised the possibility of Special Purpose Districts, 20 of which have been created in Manhattan by the City Planning Commission in order to meet the specific needs of their neighborhoods. In Community Board 3, such a district would likely put a cap on chain stores and curb operating hours. Ms. DeStefano clarified that S.P.D.’s are “not banning anything, just seeking a way to preserve it, and it’s just giving the community some level of control.” Read more…