Press Releases

For Immediate Release
June 6, 2019

Rachaele Raynoff, Joe Marvilli – (212) 720-3471

City Planning, Manhattan Borough President Brewer and Council Member Chin Announce Public Event to Share Preliminary Recommendations on the Future of SoHo/NoHo


Six-month series of public meetings and consultation with local stakeholders are shaping a community vision for the future of SoHo and NoHo neighborhoods


NEW YORK - Department of City Planning (DCP) Director Marisa Lago, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Council Member Margaret Chin will convene the sixth and final public engagement event for visioning the future of SoHo and NoHo to share findings and preliminary recommendations distilled from the engagement process.

The event is set for Thursday, June 13, 6 p.m. to 8:15 p.m., at Scholastic auditorium, 130 Mercer Street in SoHo.

Underlying the collaborative planning work is a shared desire to honor SoHo/NoHo’s history, ensure its continued social and economic vitality, promote its arts and culture, and protect and improve quality of life for its residents and the workforce.

“I am continually impressed by the passion and commitment to planning that SoHo and NoHo’s residents, artists, workers, and property and business owners put into this joint effort to protect and improve the beauty, strength and resiliency of their neighborhoods. Next up, a summary report from this engagement process that will help focus us all on potential next steps,” said DCP Director Marisa Lago.

“We have been listening and working towards solutions to protect the neighborhood—and this is not the end of the road,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “We look forward to presenting these preliminary findings and listening to the community to help guide more discussions.”

“The community leaders, stakeholders, residents, artists and property and business owners of SoHo and NoHo worked together for six months to chart the future of these two iconic neighborhoods,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “The sixth and final public engagement session will share the preliminary recommendations distilled from the past months. I want to thank Department of City Planning Director Marisa Lago and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer for partnering with me on this effort to protect the history of SoHo and NoHo, maintain the area’s economic vitality, improve the quality of life and promote its incredible arts and culture.”

Thursday’s event and the presentation of findings and preliminary recommendations build on information and priorities developed through an initial Open House on February 6, and public workshops held on February 28, March 20, April 11 and May 2. The SoHo/NoHo Team also looks forward to hearing feedback on the presentation from the public at the meeting. After the meeting, the presentation will be posted at Additional feedback can be submitted through the website and to That feedback will inform a report forthcoming this summer by the SoHo/NoHo Advisory Group as well as potential next steps.

Format/agenda of June 13 public event, 6 to 8:15 PM:

  • 6 — 6:15 PM: Community members arrive and mingle with the SoHo/NoHo team.
  • 6:15 — 7:15 PM: Opening remarks by Manhattan Borough President Brewer, followed by presentation by the engagement facilitator, Jonathan Martin.
  • 7:15 — 8:15 PM: Public event participants provide feedback.

The purpose of the engagement process, and “why now?”

SoHo and NoHo are dynamic mixed-use neighborhoods with an established residential population, strong office markets with growing creative firms, and one of the city’s biggest retail centers. At the same time, the existing zoning, established nearly five decades ago to balance the needs of a declining manufacturing sector and a growing artist community, presents challenges to the continued vitality of these historic neighborhoods.

Today, the two neighborhoods are: 

  • Home to about 8,000 New Yorkers, representing a more significant residential presence than in typical manufacturing districts;
  • Home to more than 51,000 jobs principally in office, retail, accommodation, food, and other non-industrial sectors;
  • Major creative centers: over 25% of total jobs in the creative industries;
  • Major economic drivers: SoHo’s retail sector ranks second citywide in annual sales, and 10th nationally.

The intent of the SoHo/NoHo public engagement process is to strategize and collaborate on crafting ideas that address on-the-ground challenges faced by businesses and residents of these two historic Manhattan neighborhoods, while enhancing and preserving neighborhood assets.

Highlights of the previous public workshop held on May 2:

  • Around 150 attendees engaged in round-table discussions about neighborhood priorities and potential strategies that would help strengthen SoHo/NoHo’s social and economic vitality, promote arts and culture, and improve quality of life for residents and the workforce.
  • Participants dived into how top neighborhood priorities identified in previous sessions can be furthered by possible planning strategies and tools. For example:
    • To improve quality of life for residents and the workforce, a multi-pronged approach with participation by relevant agencies and local partners should be explored, including implementing best practices for loading and deliveries, coordinated trash pick-ups and street cleaning;
    • To ensure residential stability and promote inclusivity, ways to strengthen tenant harassment protections in the State Law, allow people without artist certification to remain, and support new live-work and housing typologies in addition to the existing Joint Living Work Quarters for Artists, should be studied;
    • To promote SoHo/NoHo as an artist and maker community, a mix of tools including use regulations, zoning incentives, support and resources in public, nonprofit and private sectors could be leveraged; and
    • To strengthen the local economy and retail ecosystem, potential updates to zoning that provide more predictable and flexible use regulations with an eye on compatibility and appropriate scale would be welcome.
  • In addition to the lively discussions at the workshop, over 500 feedback cards on priorities and strategies were collected and analyzed by the SoHo/NoHo Team, the summary of which is posted on the website (here). Valuable input gathered from this meeting and previous sessions plays an instrumental role in informing the Advisory Group consideration and shaping the development of its final report.

Highlights of earlier public engagement sessions and more information on the SoHo/NoHo initiative can be found in press releases available here, here, here, here, and here as well as at

Other engagement meetings

To further ensure participation by business owners, long-term certified artist residents, residential and commercial property owners, as well as Chinese-speaking stakeholders in the southeastern portion of the study area, the Process Sponsors, with the help of the Advisory Group, have hosted additional focus group meetings between March and May. Takeaways from these meetings, as well as summaries for Advisory Group working sessions, will be shared on the SoHo/NoHo engagement website at