Pratt students offer advice for East Village shops

By Jovana Rizzo | June 12, 2008 03:03PM

As rising rents in the East Village force out long-time mom and pop shops, students from the Pratt Institute are offering ideas on how to keep neighborhood retailers in business.

The Pratt Institute Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment grad students will present a study of the East Village business climate tonight that will suggest new zoning regulations and incentive programs for property owners to maintain affordable rents.

The students’ recommendations are focused on the area between 14th and Houston streets, bounded by Third Avenue and Avenue D. An in-depth analysis looked at the area between 6th and 10th streets, bounded by First and Third avenues, where old family-run stores A. Fontana Shoe Repair closed in February and Kurowycky Meat Products closed last June. Pratt professor Vicki Weiner said the students examined the history of almost every building in that area.

The event, hosted by the Neighborhood Preservation Center, East Village Community Coalition and Pratt Center for Community Development, is scheduled for 6:30 tonight at Parish Hall at St. Mark’s Church In-the-Bowery at 131 East 10th Street.

Filmmaker Virginie-Alvine Perrette’s documentary “Twilight Becomes Night” about the role of neighborhood stores throughout New York City’s history will be screened at the event, and a discussion with Perrette will follow.

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