The city has started to crack down on Soho shops that are oversized and that have been operating for a long time, even though the zoning laws prohibit their size. Zara, Uniqlo, Hollister, Topshop and American Eagle were all given violations recently for exceeding the 10,000 square foot limit in the area. Residents have been complaining for ages that these mammoth stores have noisy deliveries late at night, bright lights and special events that draw large crowds.
City Councilwoman Margaret Chin said, “I am pleased to see that some of the most egregious violators of the ban on oversized retail in SoHo are being held accountable.” In order to have mammoth stores, retainers are supposed to have permits. Banana Republic, with its 67,440 square foot store on Broadway is one of the few that has actually been issued the permit.
Time will tell if these fines actually do anything – but at least something is starting to be done.