According to architect Eric Ho, there are nearly 200 vacant storefronts on the Lower East Side. He’s looking to put them to good use by creating a catalog of all of LES’s usable spaces and making them available for temporary rental, directly from their landlords. Renting daily, weekly, or monthly, customers could use the spaces as pop-up galleries, event spaces, or classrooms. “How this all started is that I saw so many vacant store or lots, and I wanted to know why,” Ho told DNAinfo.

MiLES–that’s Made in the Lower East Side–an organization of which Ho is a member, is seeking a $5,000 grant from’s Good Maker Art Challenge. The organization would use the funding towards creating a a light, easily-operable piece of furniture that could easily be transformed into a meeting table, projector, or stage, allowing renters to most effectively utilize the space. “It is an idea that people can use a vacant store or lot without much intervention,” said Ho.

Ho and MiLES pitched the idea to Community Board 3 to a “positive response,” with hope to get it off the ground by July 2013.

(Photo: Euran Slorach/Flickr)