Zara Looks to Legalize its Oversized SoHo Flagship Store

Posted on: October 16th, 2019 at 5:07 am by

Photo: Google Maps

The flagship Zara store on Broadway is hoping to legalize its SoHo footprint by altering the current zoning.

Zara, which purchased the commercial condo at 503 Broadway in 2015 for $284 million, occupies a much larger footprint than what is permitted under the current zoning. (Former location of Old Navy from 1998 to 2015.) Once the multinational brand took control of the space, it illegally extended retail operations to the 14,000 square-foot second floor, which is zoned for “factory use.”

Subsequent community pressure from the Broadway Residents Coalition resulted in illegal use violations from Department of Buildings in July 2018. The fines are inconsequential, yet nevertheless impact precedent.

Now, Zara is applying for a special permit from City Planning that legitimizes the status quo at 503 Broadway. Their pitch was heard by the commissioners back in August with plenty of questions; the Land-Use committee of Community Board 2 discussed the application a month later, and will again hear from the Zara troop tonight.

These zoning issues are also part of the broader conversation about the city’s controversial push to rezone the SoHo and NoHo neighborhoods.

Recent Stories

Drunk Driver Struck Man on Moped at Bowery and Delancey

A man is in critical condition after an SUV, operated by a driver police believe was intoxicated, struck his moped at Bowery and Delancey Street early Wednesday morning. Police said the Toyota RAV4 turned onto Delancey from the Bowery at around 2:00am, where it struck the 38-year-old on the moped. Paramedics rushed the victim to […]

The Chic COVID Test in Little Italy that Costs $300

In a clash between the Pre-Covid New York CIty and the new, abnormal, meet Rapid Test NYC. This new endeavor brings boutique COVID-19 testing to Little Italy, with its no-wait rapid swab testing at 232 Elizabeth Street. No lines and a posh waiting room await the discerning citizen looking for immediate results. The interior has […]

COVID Has Taken Fineline Tattoo, a Lower East Side Institution

Oh, COVID/2020, you’re an evil bitch. Come Monday, you will no longer be able to walk into Fineline Tattoo shop. But the owner and legacy keeper, Mehai Bakaty, wants you to know: We are not closing, we are moving. LES STRONG.  We will be going back to a private studio next door. Appointment only. Rest […]

Work Underway at New Orchard Street Home of Scarr’s Pizza

Scarr’s Pizza is moving up the street. And the work has already begun. As previously reported, owner Scarr Pimentel applied to remove and transfer the liquor license to 35 Orchard (aka 34 Allen) in what was formerly the Lam & Associates insurance office. (A building now shared with Cheeky Sandwiches.) Community Board 3 signaled its […]

Pandemic Pitch: Essex Crossing Tries to Lease its Office Space

One of the crown jewels of the Essex Crossing mega project – namely, 350,000 square-feet of Class A commercial space – is also an Achilles Heel of sorts. And now, a first look. The Commercial Observer spilled ink this week on the challenges of renting this office space during pandemic times, even referring to the […]