Trader Joe’s, 7:15 a.m.


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.


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

essex street market

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.


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.”


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.


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.


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.










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



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!



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.

Crane City: Another Weekend in the Essex Crossing Construction Zone


Here’s a photo from Alan LeNoble showing the dismantling of a construction hoist at 115 Delancey St. That’s one of the Essex Crossing towers. There’s a huge mobile crane positioned in the northbound lane of Essex Street. It is supposed to be there through the weekend.

Here’s another photo we snapped a short time ago:


Several Market Line Vendors Pitch Plans For Liquor Sales Tonight

The Market Line. Rendering by SHoP Architects.

The Market Line. Rendering by SHoP Architects.

At tonight’s meeting of Community Board 3’s State Liquor Authority Committee, we should find out some new details about the Market Line, a centerpiece of the big Essex Crossing project. Several vendors in the subterranean shopping pavilion are going for liquor licenses (beer & wine only).

Here’s what we know based on documents already filed with CB3.

Contra masterminds Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske Valtierra will outline their plans for Cubmare, a small plates/wine bar. Food items on a preliminary menu include oysters, cured meats, marinated anchovies, fluke crudo, etc. Stone and Von Hauske Valtierra have found great success with Contra, their flagship restaurant on Orchard Street, as well as Wildair and Una Pizza Napoletano.

Schaller & Weber, the Upper East Side-based purveyor of sausages and German-style smoked meats, is also seeking a beer and wine permit. On the Lower East Side, they will be serving up brats, sliced knackwurst, sausage platters and, of course, German beers.

Essex Pearl, from the owners of Aqua Best in Chinatown, is also on CB3’s agenda for a seafood counter and restaurant. The family-run business will have three tables and a counter for 28 customers. There will be a raw bar, plus lunch and dinner service.

The local institution,  Veselka, plans a scaled-down version of its Second Avenue restaurant. The menu at the Market Line includes some of the Ukrainian coffee shop’s standbys, including pierogi, borscht, kielbasa and stuffed cabbage. There will be one large table with 10 seats, and a bar with 5 seats.

Also seeking permits are Kuro-Obi, the latest project from ramen specialist Ippudo; and Tortilleria Nixtamal, an outpost from the Queens-based Mexican restaurant.

The Market Line will eventually stretch across three buildings on Broome Street. The first segment opens later this year beneath a newly expanded Essex Street Market. The initial phase of the facility will feature about 70 vendors. Only a few operators have been publicly announced.

Tonight’s meeting takes place at 6:30 p.m. at Perseverance House Community Room, 535 East 5th St. See the full agenda here.

You Can Start Visiting Doctors at NYU Langone’s Essex Crossing Center July 2


Starting next month, you will be able to visit a doctor at NYU Langone’s new outpatient medical center at Essex Crossing. More than a dozen specialists will be on hand July 2 for the opening of the Joan H. and Preston Robert Tisch Center. An ambulatory care center, including four operating rooms, is scheduled to open in the fall.

The 55,000 square foot facility is located at 171 Delancey St., at Clinton St. When it’s fully operational, the center will span three floors and include 30 exam rooms.  There will be a foot and ankle care center and a women’s sports medicine center.

“We’re thrilled to bring this new, comprehensive network of clinical services to the Lower East Side, one of New York City’s most vibrant neighborhoods, but one with many pressing needs for access to the highest quality medical care,” said Andrew Rubin, vice president for clinical affairs and ambulatory care at NYU Langone Health. “We always look at where our patients live and work, and this location provides a convenient alternative not only in the immediate area, but also for those located in the Financial District and Williamsburg.”

Upon opening, specialists will be available for primary care, cardiology, orthopedics, sports medicine, podiatry and addiction medicine. Starting in August, spine surgery and rheumatology services will be added. NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation will begin offering services in the fall. When fully functional, the center will also feature other specialties, including gynecology, otolaryngology (ear, nose, and throat) and plastic surgery. There will be on-site diagnostic services like lab testing, X-ray imaging, and cardiology and vascular studies.

For more information about the Joan H. and Preston Robert Tisch Center, click here.

Target at Essex Crossing Announces Aug. 19 Opening, Local Job Fairs


Target announced today a grand opening date for its new location at Essex Crossing. The 22,500 square foot “small format” store at 400 Grand St. (also known as 145 Clinton St.) will debut on Sunday, Aug. 19.

Also today, Target put the word out about several job fairs to be held this month in the community. The company expects to hire 85 employees for the Lower East Side outpost, which will be located on the second floor of a residential building called The Rollins. The employment events will be held June 11,12, 14 and 18 and, we’re told, are being coordinated in partnership with Delancey Street Associates (the Essex Crossing development group) and the Lower East Side Employment Network.

Anyone interested in applying, should visit Target’s employment page to make an appointment for an interview in advance. [Applicants should indicate that they’re specifically interested in jobs at 400 Grand St., Manhattan).

The store will be the fifth Target location in Manhattan and is part of a nationwide push into major urban markets. The Lower East Side Target will, according to a press release, offer a “curated assortment, including men’s and women’s apparel and accessories, baby essentials, toys, basics for the family, home décor, health and beauty products, electronics, tech accessories, and a food and beverage selection that includes fresh produce and grab-and-go items.”  There’s also going to be a CVS Pharmacy in the store.

Target has 27 stores open or in the planning stages in New York City. Just today a new store was announced in Brooklyn. A store will open in July on East 14th Street (Avenue A).

The Rollins, a 14-story tower, will also include a Trader Joe’s store, which is likely to open in the early fall. There are 211 rental apartments in the building, half low/middle income and half market rate. All of the affordable apartments were claimed through a city-sponsored housing lottery. Last week, Delancey Street Associates announced that more than 65% of the market rate units have been leased.

Essex Crossing is spread across nine sites, and includes 1,9 million square feet of residential and commercial development.

Coming Soon: NYU Langone Medical Center at Essex Crossing

171 Delancey St.

171 Delancey St.

If you have walked by the intersection of Delancey and Clinton streets in the past few days, you probably noticed signage for NYU Langone’s new medical facility at Essex Crossing. It’s not accepting patients just yet, but you can expect a partial opening in the next few weeks.

The Joan H. and Preston Robert Tisch Center is taking 55,000 square feet at 171 Delancey St. The building also includes senior housing and a senior center run by Grand Street Settlement. A spokesperson for NYU Langone tells us today that physician practices will open during the summer. Ambulatory surgery services won’t be available until the fall.

Public filings by NYU Langone indicate there will be four operating rooms in the Lower East Side center, as well as a physical therapy facility. The entrance to the medical center is on Delancey Street.

By the end of this year, the first phase of the Essex Crossing project will be complete. It includes a new home for the Essex Street Market, a large shopping pavilion called the Market Line, a 14-screen movie theater, a Trader Joe’s & Target store, as well as mixed-income housing.


Doughnut Plant, Pickle Guys Coming to the Market Line at Essex Crossing

The Market Line. Rendering by SHoP Architects.

The Market Line. Rendering by SHoP Architects.

Four more vendors have been announced for the Market Line, a new subterranean shopping pavilion that’s part of the Essex Crossing project.

Two of the new operators — the Pickle Guys and the Doughnut Plant — are among the best known retail brands on the Lower East Side. The others are Castania Nut Boutique, a Lebanese roasting and packaging company, and Substance Vitality Bar, which got its start in Dallas and has one other Manhattan location.

It also came out today that Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske Valtierra of the restaurants Contra and Wildair are planning a wine/beer concept at the Market Line. According to Eater, they have declined to offer any details in advance of a Community Board 3 hearing in June.

The first part of the Market Line will open in the fall beneath a newly expanded Essex Street Market at 115 Delancey St. The developers are calling the 150,000 square foot space the largest market of its kind in New York City. When complete, it will feature food, art, music and fashion “retailers that embody the character and culture of the LES.”  Previously announced vendors include: Cafe Grumpy, Ends Meat, Essex Pearl, Kuro-Obi by Ippudo, Nom Wah, Pilot Kombucha, Schaller & Weber, Tortillería Nixtamal and Veselka.

Alan Kaufman of the Pickle Guys moved his shop from a smaller space on Essex Street to 357 Grand St. last year. The store, a mainstay in the neighborhood for more than 15 years, is the last remaining pickle retail purveyor on the Lower East Side. Mark Israel’s Doughnut Plant is located in the same retail strip on Grand Street. He started the business from the basement of a LES tenement in 1994. Castania Nut Boutique was founded in 1985; its store at the Market Line will be the first outpost in the U.S. Substance Vitality Bar offers cold-pressed juices, açai bowls, smoothies and “protein bites,” including vegan, gluten free and dairy free edible cookie dough.


At a Soggy Block Party, Essex Street Market Vendors Look to the Future

Essex Crossing's developers were honored at the Essex Street Market Block Part held May 19, 2018.

Essex Crossing’s developers were honored at the Essex Street Market Block Part held May 19, 2018.

It was pretty much a washout Saturday at the Essex Street Market’s annual Block Party, but merchants and customers alike braved the elements and made the best of it.

The Vendor Association also looked ahead to the future. In a few months, the 78-year-old public market will be moving across the street to an expanded facility in the Essex Crossing project. At this past weekend’s event, Vendor Association President Anne Saxelby dedicated this year’s block party to Delancey Street Associates, the consortium building Essex Crossing. Ron Moelis, CEO of L+M Development Partners; Charlie Bendit, co-CEO of Taconic Investment Partners; and Isaac Henderson, Essex Crossing’s project manager were on hand to accept awards.

As part of the developers’ agreement with the city, they are building the new market and paying moving expenses for all of the vendors. Saxelby thanked them, as well as the city’s Economic Development Corp. (which runs the market) and Community Board 3 for working to make the new market happen. “When we first learned of the Essex Crossing project back in 2013,” said Saxelby, “we as vendors were really concerned because we didn’t know what our fate would be. Thanks to the work of the EDC, CB3 and Delancey Street Associates we have a beautiful new market, and all of the current vendors will be moving over, plus 14 new vendors.” 

Also attending Saturday’s rainy party were Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Council member Margaret Chin.

At one point, Chin ducked inside the market to pick up a few items at one of the newer stalls, Essex Olive & Spice House. In her public remarks, she said, “The new market will be gorgeous and wonderful,” said Chin, “but there are a lot of new vendors in the market right now, so please check it out. I did. It’s just wonderful to celebrate the history of the market and also to celebrate the neighborhood.”

The EDC, Vendor Association and Lower East Side Partnership have been sponsoring the block party during the past few years as a way to boost awareness of the market, which has struggled to attract foot traffic. The new market will be located at 115 Delancey St., just across from the current building.