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LPC Releases Guidelines to Help Business Owners

The Landmarks Preservation Commission released its updated guidelines earlier this month in an effort to help business owners expedite their applications for new storefronts in historic districts. The Guidelines for Storefront Design in Historic Districts are designed to help business and property owners understand the rules and regulations in historic districts, including Flatiron's Ladies' Mile Historic District and Madison Square North Historic District.
 
The Guide includes before and after photos, diagrams, and architectural drawings, and also provides information about the materials needed for a complete application. 
 

"Small businesses face many challenges today and the intent of the Guidelines for Storefront Design in Historic Districts is to provide a helpful tool for business owners with storefronts in designated buildings," said Landmarks Preservation Commission Chair Sarah Carroll. "These guidelines will make it easier to navigate our rules and processes so that business owners can efficiently obtain approvals for a storefront that meets their needs and relates to the historic context of their building or historic district."

As the agency responsible for protecting and preserving the City's landmark properties, LPC regulates changes made to storefronts on designated buildings, most of which are located in historic districts. Thus, any proposal to change a storefront in a historic district should relate well to the building and historic district where it is located.  LPC can approve well-designed contemporary storefronts as well as traditional historic storefronts, as long as the design relates harmoniously to the identity of that particular historic neighborhood or street.

"In 2017, we released a Storefront Improvement Guide in order to help business owners create vibrant storefronts that attract customers while complying with City rules and regulations," said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. "The Guidelines for Storefront Design in Historic Districts released today by the Landmarks Preservation Commission is an important resource that will continue to help ensure that business owners have the tools they need to optimize their storefronts."

"Landmark preservation is an integral part of keeping New York City the familiar place we all love," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "I have long been a champion for preservation, and I thank the Landmarks Preservation Commission for releasing these storefront design guidelines to make compliance and understanding easier for all businesses."

"Anything we can do to help our businesses operate most effectively and efficiently is good in my book," said Council Member Keith Powers. "This guide will help business owners stay compliant in their design while also showcasing what's best about their business. I thank the Landmarks Preservation Commission for providing this resource."

"Historic districts are nothing without the mom and pop stores that dot their streets and bring a sense of identity and community to these neighborhoods," said Council Member Carlina Rivera. "The Landmark Preservation Commission's new design guidelines will help businesses better identify solutions that work for their storefronts and bring clarity to operating within historic districts."

"We applaud the Landmarks Preservation Commission on the issuance of guidelines for storefront properties in historic districts. New York City's landmarks law protects the historic character of our city, which contributes greatly to the vitality of many commercial and retail districts," said Robert Benfatto, Co-Chair of the New York City BID Association. "LPC's new guidelines and enhanced staff-level review processes will help storefront businesses achieve compliance with LPC requirements, saving precious time and money for our vital retail sector.  We support and encourage all efforts to make doing business in New York easier and more efficient."

Guidelines for Storefront Design in Historic Districts

SBS Storefront Improvements Guide

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