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Community members protest Nike’s new Soho superstore

The popular athletic brand was forced to rescheduled their planned Veteran’s Day grand opening due to permit issues

After years of speculation and wondering whether Nike was indeed the future tenant of 529 Broadway’s retail space, the popular brand confirmed all doubts with their plans for a grand opening at the new Nike Soho superstore on Veteran’s Day. However, protest from community members on Thursday and a rescinded Department of Buildings (D.O.B) permit resulted in the store rescheduling its debut, leaving hundreds of anxious shoppers upset, reports the Villager.

In 2013, the Landmarks Preservation Commission gave the proposed reconstruction of the building that once housed the historic Prescott House hotel within the landmarked Cast Iron district the thumbs up. However, protesters rallied outside of the D.O.B’s headquarters at 280 Broadway claiming, among other things, that the site’s M1-5 zoning did not allow for Nike’s 55,000-square-foot space and that the behemoth store jeopardizes the neighborhood’s historic character.

The rally drew support from local elected officials that included Councilmember Margaret Chin, Assemblymember Deborah Glick, state Senator Daniel Squadron and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

The D.O.B. snatched away Nike’s permit to open, but not because of the protests. Apparently, the agency wanted to certify the five-story building’s electrical and plumbing.

Nike apologized to the eager shoppers that lined up for hours to experience opening day and to get their hands on the company’s latest exclusive sneaker. The brand will also issue $200 gift certificates for the inconvenience. No word yet on when the grand opening will be rescheduled.