Essex Crossing Tower at 180 Broome St. Tops Off at 26 Stories

180 Broome St. Photo courtesy of Delancey Street Associates.

180 Broome St. Photo courtesy of Delancey Street Associates.

Another building at Essex Crossing has been “topped off.”  Delancey Street Associates, the developers of the mega-project in the former Seward Park Urban Renewal Area, announced yesterday that 180 Broome St. has reached its full height of 26 stories.

The tower, scheduled for completion next year, will include 142 market-rate rental apartments and 121 units designated affordable by the city. The building will also feature 175,000 square feet of office space and a portion of the Market Line, the subterranean shopping pavilion that will eventually stretch across three sites.

A neighboring building, 202 Broome St., will soon start rising on the Essex Crossing campus (excavation work is now being completed). That 15-story market rate condo tower will also include a significant amount of office space. Taken together, the two buildings will boast 350,000 square feet of office space.

Seven of nine Essex Crossing sites are now finished or under construction.  Early next month, a new Essex Street Market will open in the sprawling Essex Crossing complex. There will ultimately be more than 1,000 apartments at Essex Crossing, about half of them affordable to low- and middle-income residents.

Delancey Street Associates includes BFC Partners, L+M Development Partners, Taconic Investment Partners, the Prusik Group and the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group.

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Regal Opens New 14-Screen Multiplex at Essex Crossing

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In case you missed the weekend social media buzz, the Lower East Side’s new 14-screen multiplex is now open for business.

The Regal Essex Crossing made its debut on Saturday at 129 Delancey St. We checked it out on Saturday evening, and were not alone. In the theater showing “Us,” the new Jordan Peele film, the cinema was about one-quarter full. Tickets here will set you back $17.50. Current showings include big Hollywood releases like Captain Marvel, Pet Sematary, Shazam! and Avengers.

The theater is part of a 26-story rental tower on the southeast corner of Delancey and Essex streets. It’s one of nine buildings being developed as part of the Essex Crossing project. A new Essex Street Market will be opening in this same building very soon.

In a press release, Regal notes that the theater includes luxury recliners, reserved seating and “an expanded concessions menu.”  The Essex Crossing cinemas include about 1200 seats all together.

The neighborhood now has a big mainstream movie theater, something it’s been missing for decades. Landmark Theaters closed the Sunshine Cinemas on East Houston Street in January of last year (it was focused on indie films). That historic building is about to be demolished for a big office and retail complex. In addition to the Regal, the Lower East Side, fortunately, has the Metrograph, the art house cinema on Ludlow Street that just celebrated its third birthday.

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Impressive Views and Pierogi Lure Tenants to Essex Crossing’s Flagship Building

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One of the best places to see the current state of Essex Crossing is from high above the Lower East Side. This view, from the 26th floor rooftop terrace of 125 Delancey St., is also a main selling point for 98 market rate rentals in “The Essex,” the tallest tower in the nine building mega-project.

The other night, Delancey Street Associates, which is building Essex Crossing, hosted a soiree to show off the apartments and amenities in The Essex Guests were able to check out model units on the 23rd floor and sample food from vendors at the new Essex Street Market and the Market Line, which will both be located in the building. (Veselka, Nom Was Tea Parlor, Essex Pearl, Formaggio Essex and the Doughnut Plant were among those represented).

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The building on the southeast corner of Essex and Delancey streets includes 98 market rate apartments and 98 units designated as affordable. A housing lottery was held for the below-market apartments in December of 2017. According to Isaac Henderson, Essex Crossing project manager, all but a handful of those below-market rentals are already occupied.

Douglas Elliman’s JR Sena, who’s handling the market rate apartments, says leases have been signed for more than half of the available units. Leasing began at the beginning of this year. Studios start at $3,995/month. According to StreetEasy, prices climb up to more than $7,000/month for 3-bedroom/2-bath units. Sena believes the prime location on the Lower East Side (right above the subway station) and unobstructed city views are big factors driving demand. But the developers are also pushing Essex Crossing’s unique amenities. The expanded Essex Street Market is scheduled to open just after Easter, with the first phase of the subterranean Market Line debuting in late spring/early summer (together the two facilities were boast about 100 food vendors). The building also includes a 14-screen Regal movie theater, which will be open any day now. And the development team is quick to mention Trader Joe’s and Target, located in another Essex Crossing building on Clinton Street.

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Appetizers from Essex Pearl, which will be opening a seafood counter and restaurant in the Market Line.

Appetizers from Essex Pearl, which will be opening a seafood counter and restaurant in the Market Line.

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From the roof, you can see the progress of 180 Broome St., which is nearing its full 25 stories. Like The Essex, it will include a 50/50 mix of market rate and affordable rentals.

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And on the neighboring lot, 202 Broome St., excavation work is just wrapping up. There will eventually be a 14-story tower on this lot featuring 83 market-rate condos. The developers are searching for a large commercial tenant to take 350,000 square feet of office space spread across both buildings current;y under construction.

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Over there on your left, you can see The Rollins, a 211 unit rental building. According to developers, the 107 market rate apartments there are fully booked, about a year after leasing got underway.

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Four Essex Crossing buildings are now finished with another three under construction. Taken together, more than 500 apartments have now been completed of 1.079 that will eventually be built.  Essex Crossing is rising on the sites formerly known as the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA). Former site tenants were given priority for the affordable apartments, if they could come up with documentation. We’re told 27 SPURA residents have moved in so far.

Meanwhile, sales continue at Essex Crossing’s luxe condo tower at 242 Broome St. Five apartments are still listed on StreetEasy, including a 3-bedroom penthouse unit for $7.3 million.

Delancey Street Associates (DSA), a joint venture of L+M Development Partners, BFC Partners, Taconic Investment Partners, the Prusik Group and the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group.

Subway Stairwell on Essex Street to Close For Three Months

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Beginning next week, you won’t be able to use the stairs leading to and from the subway station on the southeast side of Delancey Street for three months.

According to the notice posted recently by T.G. Nickel, the stairs will be closed for 95 days starting Feb. 27.  T.G. Nickel is the general contractor for Essex Crossing Site 2, the building located just above subway entrance. As part of the Essex Crossing project, passageways are being built under Delancey Street. They’re meant to accommodate visitors to the Market Line, a subterranean shopping complex.

It’s not a great time to be limiting access to the subway station. A 14-screen Regal movie theater is just about ready to open on Delancey Street, along with a newly expanded Essex Street Market (coming in the spring).

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Essex Crossing Update: New Nonprofit Tenants, Movie Theater Delayed

Clinton Street at Broome Street - Essex Crossing's Site 6.

Clinton Street at Broome Street – Essex Crossing’s Francis Goldin Senior Apartments.

As 2018 draws to a close, here’s a look at what’s new at Essex Crossing. It’s not all about Target and Trader Joe’s, you know.

Earlier this month, Delancey Street Associates, the development consortium, announced two new commercial tenants for 175 Delancey St., also known as the Francis Goldin Senior Apartments. The Lower East Side Partnership will be taking about 3,400 square feet on the fourth floor for its offices. Meanwhile, the Chinese American Planning Council is leasing 8,520 square feet on the third floor for its early childhood education programs.

The building is already home to a senior center and social enterprise business (The GrandLo Cafe) operated by Grand Street Settlement. Henry Street Settlement is moving its Workforce Development Center into 175 Delancey, as well. So four local nonprofit organizations will be huddled in Essex Crossing’s easternmost building. [NYU Langone is also located in the complex].

More Essex Crossing details in a Dec. 19 press release:

–While Regal Cinemas was previously expected to open in another building, 125 Delancey St., in time for the holidays, the 14-screen theater is now aiming for a winter 2019 debut.

–For the moment, developers are sticking to a spring opening for both the new Essex Street Market and the first phase of the Market Line, an underground shopping pavilion. As you might recall, the Essex Street Market was supposed to make the move across Delancey Street in October, but the date was pushed back due to construction delays. Vendors are now receiving a rent break from the city, which runs the facility.

–Leasing is expected to begin next year for 98 market rate apartments at 125 Delancey. Another 98 apartments in the 26-story tower were claimed in an affordable housing lottery held earlier this year.

–The developers report that 145 Clinton St. (better known as the Trader Joe’s building) is nearly fully leased. There’s apparently still a 2-bedroom/2-bath unit with a terrace available for $5,995 per month. A publicly accessible park adjacent to the building named The Rollins, will not open until the spring.

–According to the press release, sales at Essex Crossing’s luxury condos at 242 Broome St. have “surpassed 75%.”  There are 44 market rate units in that building. They went on the market in the fall of 2016. If StreetEasy is to be believed, you can pick up a 3-bedroom penthouse for around $7.3 million.

Essex Crossing is a 1.9 million square foot project in the former Seward Park Urban Renewal Area. Three more buildings are now under construction. The developers include BFC Partners, L+M Development Partners, Taconic Investment Partners, the Prusik Group and the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group. Recently the Goldman Sachs CMBS group provided a $8.75 million loan (a refinancing) for the community facility space at the Francis Goldin Apartments.

Rendering: Moso Studio.

Rendering: Moso Studio.

Sake Bar, Southeast Asian Market Coming to the Market Line

Yudai Kanayama and Keisuke Kasagi of Gouie New York. Photo via the Market Line's Instagram.

Yudai Kanayama and Keisuke Kasagi of Gouie New York. Photo via the Market Line’s Instagram.

More vendors announced for the Market Line, the underground food, retail and art complex coming to Essex Crossing next year.

Yudai Kanayama and Keisuke Kasagi will be opening a sake bar called Gouie New York when the first phase of the Market Line debuts at 115 Delancey St. They’re the team behind Davelle, the Japanese cafe on Suffolk Street; Izakaya in the East Village; and Samurice in the Canal Street Market. According to a press release, the restaurant will include a chef’s table serving Japanese-American and Japanese-European style small plates. There will be a line of sake specifically created for the Market Line.

“We would like to establish a place in between a restaurant and a bar,” Kanayama and Kasagi explained, “where people can eat after dinner, but before going home. In Japan, there are many places where you can have a couple drinks paired with small delicious dishes. Here, we do not have many places where we can do that.” They say the new spot will be, “a sake bar with small but serious eats.”

The Market Line also announced an agreement with Kevin Liang of the Brooklyn-based wholesaler Southeast Asian Market to open a Lower East Side retail outpost. S.E.A. Market will be a grocery store specializing in imported Southeast Asian products. Liang said, “This is like going back to my roots. Not only did I grow up in the neighborhood, my parents owned a grocery store here where I worked starting at age 7 by packing shelves, tagging, etc. The business has grown and changed a lot since then and being able to come full circle is both exciting and nostalgic.”

The Market Line previously announced its first 15 vendors, including Cafe Grumpy, Ends Meat, Essex Pearl, Kuro-Obi by Ippudo, Nom Wah, Pilot Kombucha, Schaller & Weber, Tortillería Nixtamal, Veselka, The Pickle Guys, Doughnut Plant, Castania Nut Boutique, Substance Vitality Bar, Moon Man, Pho Grand, Rustic Table Shuk, the Tenement Museum, and Ample Hills.

The shopping pavilion will stretch for three blocks between Essex Street and Clinton Street. The first phase of the project, located beneath the new Essex Street Market will debut no earlier than the spring of next year. The Essex Market was supposed to be open in its new space already, but as we reported a few weeks ago, it’s been delayed due to construction complications.

The Market Line is a centerpiece of Essex Crossing, the large residential and commercial project in the former Seward Park Urban Renewal Area.

Community Event Seeks to “Knit Together Old and New” on Former SPURA Site

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A new Trader Joe’s, Target and hundreds of new apartments (some luxury, some below-market rate) are the most obvious signs that the Lower East Side is undergoing dramatic change. But two community organizations are about to remind  us that long before Essex Crossing came along, there was SPURA — the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area. Imagining the LES: Creating Community is coming up Saturday, Nov. 3. Here’s more from the organizers, the Seward Park Area Redevelopment Coalition (SPARC) and Below the Grid lab:

On Saturday, November 3rd from 2:00 to 5:00pm, SPARC and Below the Grid Lab will host Imagining the LES: Creating Community, a day of activities to celebrate the past, present, and future of the SPURA community (now officially renamed Essex Crossing). Fifty (50) years ago a vibrant community of multi-racial/ethnic residents and the tenement buildings they inhabited was destroyed by Urban Renewal. Now a new community of mixed income buildings–including 500 affordable apartments–is rising from these empty lots. Today’s event attempts to begin to knit together the old and new and imagine a strong vision of a more equitable and just neighborhood..

Imagining the LES: Creating Community, will take place on Saturday November 3rd from  2-5pm in the 4th floor Community Center of the Frances Goldin Senior Building: entrance to the event is through the GrandLo Café at 168 Broome St. Suffolk St, between Grand St & Broome St. There will be food and music and activities to include: painting of banners, oral history interviews of residents, and performances from local arts groups. Neighborhood organizations will have tables announcing their programming. A survey will be distributed for attendees to voice their future neighborhood priorities and interests. We intend to bring together old and new residents to enjoy the activities, meet each other and engage in conversation: “How do we honor the past with a more just future?” “How do we bring together the old and the new?,” and “How do we imagine a truly equal city?”

This exciting and vibrant day is the official launch of the SPURA Living History Project, an initiative of SPARC and Below the Grid Lab to raise the profile of this complex history, inspire a new integrated present and future, and with it a new generation of activists and organizers who will carry the legacy of the Lower East Side into the next fifty years!

Here’s the Facebook invite.

Trader Joe’s, 7:15 a.m.

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No line outside the new Trader Joe’s on Grand Street yet! The 30,000 square foot store in the basement of the Essex Crossing building known as “The Rollins” opens this morning at 8 o’clock. We’ll be checking back later today…

Trader Joe’s Lower East Side Store Announces October 19th Opening

Photo by The Lo-Down

Photo by The Lo-Down

Trader Joe’s has released a statement announcing an October 19th opening at their new Lower East Side store at 400 Grand Street.  The company will celebrate with a grand opening event including “live music, food tastings, giveaways, and more,” beginning at 8am on Friday, Oct. 19th. They write:

The new store, which will be the 7th Trader Joe’s location in Manhattan, is located in Essex Crossing on the corner of Clinton & Grand and is easily accessible via the B, D, F, M, J & Z trains. At over 30,000 total square feet, it’s the largest Trader Joe’s on the Eastern Seaboard, and its interior will feature murals that pay tribute to local landmarks and the dynamic spirit of the neighborhood. The store will be open from 8am – 10pm daily.

photo by The Lo-Down

photo by The Lo-Down

Additionally, the new store looks to be hiring.  There was a sign out front stating they are taking applications tomorrow, Oct. 5, between 9am – 5pm.

Trader Joe’s is opening in the basement of the new Essex Crossing building at 400 Grand Street (on the northwest corner of Grand and Clinton streets), beneath the Target store that opened in August. The announcement comes after a bit of rumormongering, raising doubts that the store was indeed opening.

Anne Saxelby is Closing Essex Market Stall, and Will Not Open in New Market

Anne Saxelby, Feb. 2014.

Anne Saxelby, Feb. 2014.

It’s a big blow for the Essex Street Market. On Saturday, a letter went up alongside Saxelby Cheesemongers’ stall announcing that the business, a stalwart in the historic public market, would be closing its Lower East Side location at the end of this month. What’s more — Anne Saxelby — chief advocate for the vendors over the past decade — will not be making the move to the new Essex Street Market next year. She’s keeping a retail space at the Chelsea Market and bolstering her successful wholesale business, which is based in Brooklyn.

Here’s what Saxelby wrote:

I want to reach out personally and let you know that due to certain business pressures and personal circumstances Saxelby Cheesemongers at the Essex Market will close on Sept. 30, 2018 and will not be opening in the new location.

I realize that this will come as a surprise, as I’ve personally devoted many years to this project, advocating for the market and its vendor community. However, over the past few years our sales in the market have declined precipitously. After much reflection it is clear to me that I would be unwise to proceed with opening this store as it could jeopardize the future of Saxelby Cheesemongers.

It is not easy to run a small business in New York (or anywhere for that matter!) And while I feel very attached to the Essex Market, I have to be pragmatic and put the sustainability of my business, our employees’ livelihood and the 50+ farms we support first.

I want to apologize for the timing of this message – so close to the market’s move and opening.  My partner and I have been exploring every alternative to this conclusion, but at this time we cannot commit to going forward with opening in the new market. I am very sad about this and do not take it lightly… for the past 12 years the market has been our flagship, our base and our community, and I am very proud of what we built at Essex. The community of vendors, friends, neighbors and customers is unlike any other in New York, and it has been amazing to be part of this community. The Essex Market was, is and will continue to be an amazing, historic, one-of-a-kind destination in New York City, and I wish the new market nothing but the greatest success.

Saxelby Cheesemongers will continue to operate in the Chelsea Market, and we will continue our wholesale operations from our base in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Thank you for your understanding. It has been an amazing run, and I will dearly miss being part of the Essex Market community.

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Saxelby opened her little shop in the Essex Street Market in 2006. In focusing on American farmstead cheese, she celebrated small, regional farms and won the respect of New York’s culinary community. Today, Saxelby supplies some of the best restaurants in the city.

In the market, she was first in a wave of merchants who brought new energy to Essex Street. She fought valiantly to save the market when the city vowed to tear in down as part of the Essex Crossing project (then referred to as SPURA). Having lost that battle,  Saxelby refocused her energies on protecting her fellow vendors. She was instrumental in the creation of the Essex Street Market Vendor Association. Saxelby was an outspoken critic of the Economic Development Corp., which operates the market, before a deal was struck between the vendors and the city a couple of years ago, and the two sides began working more closely to address concerns about both the existing facility and the new one.

The existing vendors will be moving over to the new market next spring (the move was recently pushed back from next month due to construction delays). The Essex Crossing developers are paying for the buildout of the new stalls, and covering moving expenses. While the vendors are paying the same price-per-square-foot in the new facility, most will incur more expenses because they chose to take larger spaces (Saxelby’s stall would have been 300 sf as opposed to 115 sf in the existing building).

Vendors, in general, have struggled in recent years, due to a drop in foot traffic. Several shops have closed, unable to hold out long enough for the move to the glitzy facility across the street.

New Essex Street Market Opening Delayed Until 2019

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The old Essex Street Market has served its purpose for 78 years. Turns out, the 1940 building on the northeast corner of Essex and Delancey streets will be put to use for at least a few weeks longer. While the city has long promised an opening for a brand new Essex Market on the south side of Delancey later this fall, construction delays have now pushed back the opening until next year.

The vendors were told about the delay on Friday, and are expected to attend a walkthrough of the new facility today. Just before the weekend, we received the official announcement from the city’s Economic Development Corp., which operates the market:

Due to delayed construction of the new Essex Market, relocation of existing vendors will occur in early 2019, following the holiday season. NYCEDC will continue to work closely with the vendors association to ensure a seamless moving process and address any additional concerns they may have.

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The public market is part of a 26-story residential/commercial building at 125 Delancey St. (the new market address is  88 Essex St.) The facility is being built by Delancey Street Associates, the development group responsible for the big Essex Crossing project. The existing vendors are to be joined by 14 new merchants. The new space is now expected to be available in early December, while the stalls being readied for the new operators won’t be finished until March. That’s because the city takes possession of the market once the existing vendor stalls are ready. A separate contractor is handling the buildout for the new businesses.

Business owners in the current market have no interest in moving during the holidays, their busiest time of year. For this reason, city officials tell us, they’re aiming for an “early 2019″ debut. Some existing merchants prefer to wait until all stalls are ready, and the market can make a big marketing splash. So if the city agrees to wait, it’s possible the new Essex Street Market won’t open for business until the spring of 2019.

In a statement, Delancey Street Associates explained, “This is an incredibly complicated project and we want to take the time to get it right so it’s ready for vendors to open for business without a hitch right when they move in.”

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Over the weekend, we spoke with a few vendors to gauge their reaction to the city’s announcement.  They had been told to expect a mid-October move, and some businesses have been reducing inventories and hiring new staff in anticipation of the upcoming switch to the new facility. One business, Pan d’Avignon, already removed a cappuccino machine, which it relies on for a big chunk of its daily sales.

Saad Bourkadi of Essex Olive Oil & Spice House, told us he’s disappointed but also understanding of the situation. Boukadi, one of the newer vendors, said business had been slow during the summer months, and he was looking forward to the boost the new market will hopefully provide. He definitely did not want to move during the holiday season and sees the value of opening the new market when it’s fully operational.

John Lavelle of Nordic Preserves is also disappointed in the delay. He and partners Annika Sundvik and Lu Ratunil will be opening an expanded stall with beer and wine, and hot foot items, in the new space. While they were looking forward to a fresh start across the street next month, Lavelle said he’s not a fan of a phased-in opening. He’d like to see all of the vendors open together.

Eric Suh of New Star Fish Market has a different point of view. While he agrees it would be impossible to make the move during the holidays, Suh said it would be far better for his family’s business to shift over to the new market in January. The fish market’s busiest time of the year is in the early spring (due to Lent/Good Friday, etc.), and Suh definitely wants to be up-and-running by that time. He also said it might make for a smoother, less chaotic transition if the existing vendors open first, followed by the new businesses a few weeks later.

At Formaggio Essex, general manager Andrew Clark said he’s perfectly happy to wait until the spring. Like New Star Fish, the specialty cheese/charcuterie store has a steady, loyal customer base. He understands that other merchants are anxious to make the move to a market that will, hopefully, attract more foot traffic. But the timing won’t make much difference to Formaggio Essex. Clark has an attachment to the historic, quirky market building. He’s feeling a bit wistful about leaving it behind, and is in no rush to cross Delancey Street.

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The vendors agreed on one thing. They appreciate the fact that city officials came to them with a forthright explanation of the situation. They said managers at the Economic Development Corp. seem willing to work with the merchants to make the best of the delay. The vendors are  expected to hold a vote after today’s tour, which will help determine whether the move takes place in January or during the spring.

The building that will house the new Essex Street Market also includes the first section of a shopping pavilion called the Market Line and a 14-screen Regal movie theater. The tower above the commercial complex includes about 200 rental apartments (half of the units were filled through a city-sponsored affordable housing lottery; leasing is now beginning for the market rate units).

Ample Hills Creamery Added to the Market Line Mix at Essex Crossing

The Market Line. Rendering by SHoP Architects.

The Market Line. Rendering by SHoP Architects.

Brooklyn-based Ample Hills Creamery is coming to the Market Line at Essex Crossing. The announcement was made today by Delancey Street Associates, the development group building the big mixed-used project in the former Seward Park Urban Renewal Area.

The first phase of the Market Line, a large cellar-level bazaar, is expected to open early next year at 115 Delancey St. (the developers had previously planned on opening the first part of the facility this year). Ample Hills Creamery, founded in 2011, recently began operating out of a factory in Red Hook. According to a press release, Ample Hills, “makes their ice cream the old-fashioned way with flavors that inspire nostalgia.” In the new outpost, they will, “create flavors unique to The Market Line that will reflect the history of the Lower East Side.”

Earlier this summer, CBS This Morning profiled Ample Hills Creamery, noting that owners Jackie Cuscuna and Brian Smith have created, “a cult following for their inventive flavors, each with a creative back-story.” Smith explained:

We have a shop in Gowanus. Gowanus is the canal in that neighborhood and it’s a toxic, fetid waste dump and so the flavor there is called ‘It Came from Gowanus.’ And it’s a deep, dark chocolate ice cream with a lot of things lurking in it, including white chocolate pearls to represent the oysters that hopefully will be part of the clean-up in the canal. So, we go through a lot of effort to start with a story and then think about flavors that can support that story.

The first section of the Market Line, located between Essex and Norfolk streets, will eventually include about 70 vendors. Those announced so far include: Cafe Grumpy, Ends Meat, Essex Pearl, Kuro-Obi by Ippudo, Nom Wah, Pilot Kombucha, Schaller & Weber, Tortillería Nixtamal, Veselka, The Pickle Guys, Doughnut Plant, Castania Nut Boutique, Substance Vitality Bar, Moon Man, Pho Grand and Rustic Table Shuk.

Delancey Street Associates also announced recently that the Tenement Museum would be opening a kiosk in the Market Line. Rohan Mehra of the Prusik Group (the firm handling commercial leasing for Essex Crossing) said, “being joined by the Tenement Museum feels like a validation of our mission and further highlights the support and enthusiasm of the community for our project.”

The Market Line will complement a newly expanded Essex Street Market, which is scheduled to open in October on the first and second floors of 115 Delancey St., a 25-story residential tower. Just last week, a new Target store opened in another Essex Crossing building, with a Trader Joe’s coming in October, as well as a 14-screen Regal movie theater opening before the end of the year. NYU Langone is already operating a new medical center out of 175 Delancey St., the first Essex Crossing building that was opened.

 

Lower East Side Target is Now Open at 145 Clinton St.

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Starting this morning, the new Target store on the Lower East Side is open for business.

The 22.500 square foot ‘small format” outpost is located at 145 Clinton St., at Grand Street. There was a ribbon cutting and party last night, with community leaders in attendance. They sipped mock cocktails, munched on tuna tartare and posed for photos with Bullseye, Target’s mascot.

We were led on a tour by Elena Ramos, team leader of the LES store. After entering on the northwest corner of Grand and Clinton streets, you take the escalator to the second floor. The first thing you’ll see is the women’s and children’s clothing areas (men’s clothing is also available in a slightly less conspicuous location). There’s a CVS pharmacy, baby supplies, cosmetics, a fairly extensive home accessories department and a grocery with fresh produce and meats, and lots of “grab-and-go” items.

The new store, located within the Essex Crossing project, is part of a big push from Target to expand into urban markets nationwide. The merchandise varies from location to location depending on local needs. “We know there are a lot of families in the area, a very tight-knit community,” said Ramos, “so we have all the essentials a family would need.”

Ramos said more than 30% of the employees at the Lower East Side store were hired from the neighborhood and surrounding communities. The company worked with the Lower East Side Employment Network to recruit local staff members.

There was, of course, lots of blowback last month on East 14th Street, when Target celebrated a store opening there with a facade reminiscent of the defunct rock club CBGB. Jacqueline DeBuse, a Target PR rep, indicated that no similar publicity stunts are planned on Grand Street. “We know with the East Village grand opening,” said DeBuse, “some guests loved it, and others felt we missed the mark. So we really listened to that feedback as we were preparing the opening for this store.”

An opening celebration will take place on Sunday. Today and every weekday, the store will be open from 7 a.m.-midnight. Saturday hours are 8 a.m.-midnight, and Sundays Target will be open 8 a.m.-11 p.m.

Target will be joined in October by a Trader Joe’s, which is located in the basement of the same building.

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Block Party Celebrates “Past, Present, Future” of SPURA

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NOTE: THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED.

By the fall, the first phase of the Essex Crossing project in the former Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA) will be mostly completed. So it’s a good time to look back on the long and turbulent history of the Lower East Side development sites. A few organizations are coming together to do just that on Saturday Aug. 4.

“Imagining the LES Block Party” will take place from 5-10 p.m. on Norfolk Street (between Grand and Broome streets). Have a look at the Facebook invite:

SPARC (Seward Park Area Redevelopment Coalition), Below the Grid Lab and The Illuminator will host Imagining the LES Block Party, a day of activities to celebrate the past, present, and future of the SPURA community (now renamed Essex Crossing). Fifty years ago a vibrant community of multi-racial/ethnic residents and the tenement buildings they inhabited was destroyed by Urban Renewal. Now a new community of mixed income buildings–including 500 affordable apartments–is rising from these empty lots. Today’s event attempts to begin to knit together the old and new and imagine a strong vision of a more equitable and just neighborhood… There will be food, music and activities including: an interactive historical walking tour featuring former residents of SPURA; chalking on the sidewalks; painting of banners; oral history interviews; and dance & theatre performances from local arts organizations.  The day will culminate in a series of large projections by artist collective The Illuminator that will feature historic photos of the neighborhood and its people, and raise questions to engage attendees in conversation: “How do we honor the past with a more just future?,” “How do we bring together the old and the new?,” and “How do we imagine a truly equal city?” This exciting and vibrant day is the official launch of the SPURA Living History Project, an initiative of SPARC and Below the Grid Lab to raise the profile of this complex history, inspire a new integrated present and future, and with it a new generation of activists and organizers who will carry the legacy of the Lower East Side into the next fifty years!

 

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Pho Grand Joins Market Line Retail Mix

Photo from the Market Line's Instagram.

Photo from the Market Line’s Instagram.

A little more local flavor for the Market Line, the big retail pavilion that’s part of the Essex Crossing project.

Via Instagram yesterday, we learned that longtime Lower East Side/Chinatown favorite Pho Grand is joining the subterranean retail bazaar. After years in operation at 277 Grand St., owners Benny and Mick Chen have decided to open a second location of their Vietnamese restaurant in the Market Line.

Back in 2011, JP Bowersock checked out Pho Grand for The Lo-Down, calling the “Chinese-Viet diner” a  “charming and inexpensive” LES mainstay.

Previously announced local Market Line vendors include the Pickle Guys, the Doughnut Plant, Nom Wah Tea Parlor and Essex Pearl (a new project from Aqua Best seafood market in Chinatown). The first segment of the shopping complex will open later this year at 115 Delancey St.