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Doban Architecture Leads City-Wide Storefront Improvement Project for Hurricane Sandy Victims

Firm partners with NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and NYC Business Assistance Corporation (NYBAC) to help more than 35 businesses.


Firm partners with NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and NYC Business Assistance Corporation (NYBAC) to help more than 35 businesses.

Doban rendering of Grindhaus storefront

Grindhaus, a beloved restaurant and sausage shop in Red Hook, is part of the storefront improvement program.

BROOKLYN, NY – Doban Architecture is working with the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and the New York City Business Assistance Corporation (NYBAC) on storefront improvements for more than 35 businesses in commercial strips impacted by Hurricane Sandy throughout New York City. The overall goal of the SBS program is to help individual businesses that remain impacted by Hurricane Sandy, lending them a hand in the form of grants up to $20,000, and helping the overall commercial strip through these improvements. The role of Doban Architecture is to meet with individual business owners, listen to their needs for improving their storefronts, and then propose design concepts, depicted in renderings, for each of the locations. The improvements illustrated in the renderings then become the basis of the work to be done by each business.

The types of businesses vary from restaurants to furniture stores to hair salons and many more. The nature of the improvements includes new and repaired storefronts, signage, awnings, doors, and other repairs. All of the storefront upgrades are aimed at helping the businesses continue their operations following the challenges faced as a result of the storm.

According to Susan Doban, CEO of Doban Architecture and principal in charge of the project, “It’s been moving and eye-opening to hear the stories of determination that each business owner has shared about their experience in getting up and running. Some of the businesses have literally drawn a line on the wall at the five-foot mark showing the water level following the hurricane. Our design goal is that the inner strength of each business in overcoming the hurdles posed by the hurricane damage be reflected in the storefront improvements.”

“With a combination of new signage, lighting, and awnings, and in some cases something as symbolic as a new door, we want to help bring attention to the unique characteristics of each business and to the neighborhoods they serve,” comments Jason Gorsline, design director for Doban Architecture. “We have felt a real sense of community in each of these unique neighborhoods where we are involved and it is that aspect of New York that is not always so readily apparent that we have to love and appreciate!”