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Grassroots “miLES” Takes on Vacant Lower East Side Storefronts
Taking a step back from the day-to-day neighborhood storefront chronicling, looking at the sheer number of vacancies is staggering. There are some 200 unoccupied retail spaces (at least) in the Lower East Side, including the East Village and Alphabet City. This was the conclusion reached by resident Eric Ho, an architect and co-founder of Architecture Commons.
Via the Open IDEO website, we learn that Ho teamed up with other community members, including the Fourth Arts Block (FAB), to create a grassroots group dubbed miLES (“Made in the Lower East Side”). miLES is a “multidisciplinary, 12-month design research project” with the goal of “transforming” vacant lots and storefronts in the neighborhood into “valuable” resources.
Two guinea pig blocks were chosen for the experiment – East Fourth and Orchard Streets.
Sounds similar to the No Longer Empty non-profit operation. Nevertheless, below is the full presentation, courtesy of the miLES website: