“More churros, less cops”: Vendors and Related face off

Street vendors say developer is pushing them out of Hudson Yards, and using NYPD to help

New York /
May.May 07, 2021 05:45 PM
Protestors in support of street vendors gather in Hudson Yards on May 7, 2021 (Getty)

Protestors in support of street vendors gather in Hudson Yards on May 7, 2021 (Getty)

Restaurants inside the Hudson Yards mall have struggled through the pandemic, but now a food fight has erupted outside, pitting street vendors against developer Related Companies and the city.

The Street Vendor Project, an advocacy group representing 2,000 vendors, claims Related has deployed security guards to harass vendors. It also said the developer enlisted the police, whose officers ticketed several sellers stationed near the Vessel sculpture. In addition, the organization says Related placed planters in their spots, extending sidewalk tree pits to push vendors out.

This week, the situation escalated when police officers issued tickets, alleging the sellers were illegally operating on sidewalk space smaller than the mandatory 12 feet, according to the Street Vendor Project.

In response, the organization held a rally on Friday — live-streamed — with masked protesters chanting, “Sí, se puede.” Several elected officials, including Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Councilmember Brad Lander, attended the event along West 33rd Street, between 10th and 11th avenues.

“We need more churros, less cops,” said Assemblymember Jessica Gonzales-Rojas, who also took part. One of the protester signs read: “Save vendors spot from shark billionaires,” another had a photo of Related Chairman Stephen Ross, sounding a similar theme. And another showed a photo of Mayor Bill de Blasio, asking him to “End the tale of two cities now!”

In a statement, a Related spokesperson said “vendors must operate legally and safely, and the city has clear regulations that they enforce to ensure everyone is following the law.” The statement added that Hudson Yards, the High Line and the surrounding area “experience extraordinary visitation and as a result, public open space needs to be managed for pedestrian safety and FDNY access.”

The NYPD also released a statement, saying “officers gave repeated warnings over the course of a week to vendors blocking the pedestrian walkway at Hudson Yards. Those officers are dedicated to helping local businesses emerge from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and they tried to work with vendors to address the issue.” The statement added that after “warnings went unanswered, four summonses were issued.”

The Street Vendor Project said a map of the grounds — which it shared with The Real Deal — shows the sidewalk space is 13 feet wide, a foot wider than the requirement. The organization also said the NYPD should not have intervened, given that the mayor shifted enforcement over to the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection in January.

A representative for the mayor’s office did not immediately respond to questions regarding police enforcement authority.

Lander, speaking at the rally, had more to say. “Hudson Yards does not represent the best of New York City,” he said. “Our street vendors represent the best of New York City.” Developers, the councilman added, “don’t want street vendors here because they don’t want the New York City that looks like us. They want a New York City where only the rich people are welcome.”





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    (Image by Wolfgang & Hite via Dezeen)
    Hudson Yards megadevelopment inspires a new line of sex toys
    Hudson Yards megadevelopment inspires a new line of sex toys
    Related's Jamar Adams and Steve Ross with 14-06 Gateway Boulevard (Credit: Getty Images and Google Maps)
    Related is the latest developer to target the Rockaways
    Related is the latest developer to target the Rockaways
    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Hudson Yards (Credit: Getty Images and Wikipedia)
    Facebook close to finalizing Hudson Yards office deal: report
    Facebook close to finalizing Hudson Yards office deal: report
    Naftali Group's Miki Naftali, BRP Companies' Meredith Marshall (Photos by Paul Dilakian)
    Miki Naftali, Meredith Marshall talk development, death of 421a
    Miki Naftali, Meredith Marshall talk development, death of 421a
    Gary Barnett
    Gary Barnett has something to say
    Gary Barnett has something to say
    Ben Shaoul and 1457 North Main Street (Getty, LoopNet)
    Ben Shaoul plans 376-unit complex near L.A.’s Chinatown
    Ben Shaoul plans 376-unit complex near L.A.’s Chinatown
    331 Elmora Avenue and 103 Ryan Street (Kislak Realty)
    Tri-state deal roundup: Multifamily, industrial still hot
    Tri-state deal roundup: Multifamily, industrial still hot
    Related CEO Jeff Blau and 455 Tenth Avenue (Chris Martin, Google Maps, iStock)
    Related launches lodging for executives’ hybrid work
    Related launches lodging for executives’ hybrid work
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...