Set-Asides for Local Retail — E125 Development in East Harlem, New York

In Dec. 2015, New York City released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a major mixed-use development in the East Harlem neighborhood. The RFP included the specification that, of up to 700,000-square-feet of commercial space, a modest portion—50,000-square-feet—would be reserved for local retailers.

As the New York City Economic Development Corporation announced at the time,

“The land included in this RFP, located at 2321-2325 3rd Avenue, is well positioned to encourage responses that take full advantage of the ongoing commercial, residential and public space developments in the surrounding area. E125, which will span from E. 125th Street to E. 127th Street and 2nd to 3rd Avenues when complete, will include 1,000 units of housing at a variety of incomes, as well as up to 700,000 square feet of commercial space—including 50,000 square feet of retail reserved for local businesses—and at least 30,000 square feet of community facilities uses, plus publicly accessible open space.”


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Stacy Mitchell

Stacy Mitchell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directs its Independent Business Initiative, which produces research and designs policy to counter concentrated corporate power and strengthen local economies.