UPDATE: New Retail Liquor Store at 320 Lafayette Defeated

Application for New Retail Liquor Store_320 LafayetteOn Tuesday, March 11, the application for a new Retail Liquor Store at 320 Lafayette St. was heard at the NYS Liquor Authority.  We were well prepared with more than 116 signatures from local residents and property owners and a fine letter introducing our testimony from Sen. Daniel Squadron.  We won!

Here was our testimony (minus the visuals):

RE:  Case #2014-00580, Serial #1276016, Win Liquor LLC, 320 Lafayette St.

Dear Chairman Rosen:

NoHo-Bowery Stakeholders and their neighbors wish to express their opposition to the granting of this Retail Liquor license at this address.

  • There are already eight Retail Liquor Stores within 1665 feet of this location; 6 in the NoHo-Nolita neighborhoods. See Proximity Map and Report
  • There are large and small Liquor Stores located in very close proximity to all our major grocery stores.  Most of them small and neighborhood business-based for many years.  See Proximity Reports:
    • Whole Foods, 273 Bowery
    • Met Foods, 246 Mercer
    • Met Foods, 241 Mulberry
    • Morton Williams, 501 LaGuardia Place
  • This area is no shortage of establishments serving full liquor and this community is hard-put to manage the already-liquored commerce on our streets – especially weekends and holidays[i].  See Area Density Map
  • This location is at the center of the NYU Campus, with more dormitories (500 students) and classrooms (80 classrooms/200,000 sq ft) in development. We feel that an additional retail liquor store will only add to the unwanted complications and even tragedies experienced by the undergraduate population and in our neighborhood, as a result of overconsumption of alcoholic beverages.  See NYU Campus Map
  • As a major transit hub, this corner also serves as the gateway for people coming to The Village, NoHo, SoHo and the East Village for plentiful entertainment.  Providing yet another opportunity to purchase and consume alcohol is not in our area’s best interest.
  • 320 Lafayette has a large footprint (7900 sq ft.)  which could easily lend itself to increasing the proposed 1200 sq. ft. store to something much larger and geared to a discount liquor trade.  Indeed this merchant has steadily reduced the footprint of their primary business – Restaurant Supplies.  Without any required community review for an alteration application that would increase the size and liability of this license, we are left with no choice but to oppose it or suffer extreme disadvantage in the future.
  • The street at the back of the store, Crosby St., has recently been cut off from through traffic.  It is the location of the loading docks for Broadway stores and for the buildings on Lafayette St.  Without regular daytime and nighttime through traffic this street has functioned as an alleyway attracting people (tourists included) wishing to avoid the spotlight and detection.  The proximity of a liquor store to this hideway will only increase its use and the resulting burden on our safety.  See images of Crosby St. alley
  • Attached are over 116 signators of petitions from NoHo-Bowery Stakeholder members and neighbors, opposing this application.

The combination of these conditions demonstrate lack of any public convenience at this location and offers significant proof of any unique – or even ordinary – advantage.

[i] Binge Drinking: One in five city adults (ages 18 and up) engaged in “binge drinking” in the previous 30 days.  One-third of adults in Chelsea/Greenwich Village and Union Square/lower Manhattan are binge drinkers.  Source:  2012 Community Health survey, www.nyc.gov