MTA Women Vendors

Client: Private
Program: Community
Location: Queens, NY
Sq. FT: 4,200 sf
Status: Schematic Development

Women Vendors Cooperative envisions creating an incubator safe space for women vendors by providing five different spaces within the busy MTA hub located in Jackson Heights, Queens at 74th and Roosevelt. The project would be a pilot program in the MTA that would enable local women street vendors to inhabit now shuttered retail spaces. The women would enroll in business trainings, work in partnership with shared kitchen spaces to provide prepared foods, and cooperatively would work together as a support network to enable for flexibility required for women who are also caretakers and providers to their family and may need to have coverage and time-off to take care of family. The vision is to add vibrant and spirited quick stops for commuters to buy affordable and healthy food while also providing job stability and safety to women vendors that have been harassed by police and faced hardship during the COVID19 pandemic, and are also left out of traditional banking and business loan networks while also being shutout of the vendor permitting process.

This is a collaboration with Senator Jessica Ramos’ office, Street Vendor Project, Chhaya, City Councilmember Dromm’s office, the MTA, and Fete Nature Architecture.

“Equal access to the economy and jobs..” – Afaf Nasher, Exec Dir of CAIRNewYork, Times Sq Rally for Street Vendor Project

“Our experience is a bit of everything. There are moments when we are angry. There are moments when we are sad. And there are moments when we’re happy because, the truth is, if we get angry, we don’t achieve much. If we get sad, we don’t achieve much either. Even if its for a moment, we don’t lose faith. We keep moving forward despite the stumbles. This is what it’s like for street vendors.” Heleodora Vivar Flores, Civil Eats, Prism Reports, Sept 2020.