Since evolving from our Vibrant Cities Challenge early in 2012, the Made in Lower East Side (miLES) initiative has pursued its mission of opening underused storefronts to fresh possibilities with zeal. Embracing the challenge of storefront vacancy in downtown New York, miLES takes a bottom up approach and involves the communities which it seeks to serve.
Earlier this year they launched a storefront for 3 months which has hosted 13 pop-up shops, more than 20 classes, workshops and panels, 1 pop-up film festival alongside providing workspace for more than 20 co-workers. Thousands of people visited the miLES storefront. This summer they have expanded from one to multiple storefronts in the Lower East Side – triggering creativity, co-working and community connections across four locations.
Fabworks – the pilot storefront offers hourly and daily pop-up bookings
Pushcart Coffee – utilises night time hours of a coffee shop for hourly classes and events pop-ups
Parkside Lounge – utilises day time hours of a bar for half day rehearsal and performance pop-ups
Eva NY – seeks pop-up store collaborators for their boutique
The team at miLES are amped by their success in bringing value through disrupting their local urban system. In true prototyping style, as they test their operations across multiple locations, they'll be documenting their progress with the view to launching miLES 2.0 in the fall. "Special thanks for everyone that have helped us to get us where we are. We continue to be amazed by the power of collaboration across multiple disciplines as we refine and build miLES for everyone, one storefront and one neighbourhood at a time." – the miLES Team.