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LPC Launches Business Express Initiative to Support NYC’s Economic Recovery

Today, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) launched a Business Express Service that will serve as a one-stop shop for business owners in landmark buildings making it easier for them to get their permits. This initiative supports the Mayor’s “Rebuild, Renew, Reinvent Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery.”

“New York City businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, so we must use all of the tools in our toolbox to ensure they can operate successfully,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “This initiative will provide our business owners the resources they need to more efficiently process applications and help them continue to thrive in the city’s landmarks and historic districts.“

“As the City’s economy continues to recover and grow, commercial business owners will play a critical role and we want to make sure we can help meet their demands so that they can open quickly and thrive,” said Landmarks Preservation Commission Chair Sarah Carroll. “With the new LPC Business Express Service, our staff will work closely with business owners to ensure applications are reviewed and processed as efficiently as possible.”

The LPC Business Express Service includes a dedicated hotline and team of preservationists who will offer pre-application consultation and focused application review to support businesses located in storefronts and other street-level commercial spaces in the City’s designated buildings and historic districts, including restaurants, retail stores and offices. Many types of work will be eligible for the Business Express Service, including interior alterations, installation of signs and awnings, storefront alterations, and barrier-free access changes, among other things. LPC has also created a new application form for Business Express Service, available here, to make the process as seamless as possible. Learn more about the LPC Business Express Service initiative at https://www1.nyc.gov/site/lpc/applications/lpc-business-express.page or download the flyer.

As part of the launch for LPC Business Express Service, staff will be holding virtual Open Office Hours for business owners and their representatives throughout the summer and into the fall. This will provide the opportunity to virtually meet one-on-one with the Business Express Service team to discuss their potential projects and ask questions. The first Open Office Hours session will be held on August 18th from 2-4 p.m. via Zoom. Sign-up sheets for Open Office Hours sessions will be posted on the LPC Business Express Service page and on the Open Office Hours page.

“Our city couldn’t function without the restaurants, retail stores and office services that our businesses provide,” said Council Member Farah Louis, Chair of Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Sitings, and Dispositions. “The hardworking individuals who make sure these functions exist need timely responses for their permits. I applaud the Landmarks Preservation Commission for expediting the applications that these business owners have, which will help them to operate at full capacity. Helping our businesses is a win for all New Yorkers.”

“Creating a one-stop-shop for business owners in landmarked properties provides a much-needed streamlined process for operators of commercial spaces in the City’s designated buildings and historic districts,” said Council Member Julie Menin, Chair of the City Council Small Business Committee. “I commend the Landmarks Preservation Commission for this initiative that will deliver much-needed support and efficiency as New York City continues to enhance our small business environment.”

“Just as landmarks regulations enhance the cohesion and distinctive neighborhood character of historic districts, each business opening or renovating their storefront in an historic district adds an important new chapter to the ongoing story of their community,” said Matthew Bauer, President of the Madison Avenue B.I.D.  “Thanks to the LPC’s new Business Express Service, it will be easier & more efficient than ever for businesses to ‘get stuff done’ for they will have a personalized roadmap and guide to fulfilling the preservation requirements of their projects.”

“Helping business owners navigate red tape is something the Alliance is on the ground doing every day and the greatest pain point we hear about from store owners,” said Jessica Lappin, President, Alliance for Downtown New York. “Nowhere in the city will the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s new service be more crucial than in Lower Manhattan — history lines every street and accounts for over 100 individual landmarks, buildings and sites. We pride ourselves on being one of New York’s oldest neighborhoods and one that has been reborn countless times. Achieving a balance that pays respect to our past without stagnating our growth and evolution is a goal we share, and we anticipate that this new express service will reinforce that work.”

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