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.
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.
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.
Thanks to Robert Cordero, Grand Street Settlement’s executive director, who sent along this overhead view of Essex Crossing Site 5. Workers this week have been installing trees inside a 15,000 square foot park that’s going to be part of the big development project.
The Broome Street park, designed by West 8, will be publicly accessible, open from 7 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. Here’s the somewhat overwrought description on West 8’s website:
With a few simple moves, the Park at Essex Crossing delivers a calm, verdant, island within the urban fabric. An entirely native palette of trees and groundcovers are located in raised planters around a central open plaza. Picking up on the Lower East Side’s history of beloved urban gardens, the Park design layers canopy and understory trees, swaths of woodland planting, and vine-covered vertical plantings to create a woodland garden in the city. Meandering geometries and an oblong central gathering area gives the illusion and opportunities of a larger park, while also offering flexibility for small events and performances to occur simultaneously. At the southwest of the site, younger visitors will discover a child-sized ravine to explore and climb, with challenging rope crossings allowing for boundless exploration and interactive play. Multifunctional planter edges offer seating throughout the park, with robust wooden details that are both comfortable and offer a soft antidote to the typical glass and steel of the city. A community table area at the Broome Street edge offers seating for larger groups or the opportunity for families to sit gather a table in the Park.
Photos ny NYC EDC.
The new Essex Street Market is starting to look like, well, a market. The Economic Development Corp. (EDC) has just made some construction photos available, as well as new renderings.
If all goes according to plan, the vendors of the historic Lower East Side institution will move into the new space in the fall. The expanded facility at 115 Delancey St. is part of the Essex Crossing project. Here’s a look:
The 26 existing merchants will be joined by 11 new vendors, a handful of which have already been announced. There will also be two new full-service restaurants and a demonstration kitchen on the second floor. In the past, EDC officials have said they’ll be paying homage to the 78-year-old facility with some historic flourishes. Designers. for example, have been refurbishing the old “Orchard Essex Meat Market” sign that hung in the Essex Street Market building that was torn down on this site.
The new market will be part of a 26-story tower on the southeast corner of Essex and Delancey streets. The current market will remain open until the move happens, supposedly in about three to four months.
Essex Street market rendering by WXY.
Essex Street Market rendering by WXY.
Essex Street Market rendering by WXY.
Essex Street Market rendering by WXY.
Essex Street Market rendering by SHoP Architects.
Essex Street Market rendering by SHoP Architects.
Rendering by Delancey Street Associates.
International Center of Photography at Essex Crossing. Rendering by Moso Studio.
The acclaimed restaurateurs, Will Guidara and Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park, will be opening a private event space on the top floors of the International Center of Photography’s new museum. The announcement came yesterday from Delancey Street Associates, the developers of Essex Crossing. ICP is opening the museum on Essex Street in 2019 as part of the big Lower East Side project.
In addition to Eleven Madison Park, Guidara and Humm’s Make It Nice hospitality group runs the restaurants at The NoMad hotels in New York and Los Angeles. In a statement, Guidara said:
The opportunity to now create a space designed specifically to offer the best events possible is very exciting –and to do that in collaboration with the storied institution that is the International Center of Photography is particularly thrilling. We’re excited to welcome guests into the beautiful, new location and to host a variety of events there – from cocktail parties to formal sit-down dinners, weddings and more.
In October of last year, ICP announced it would be moving the institution’s museum and school to Essex Crossing. The museum will occupy a four-story building that runs straight through between Essex and Ludlow streets. ICP will also occupy two floors of 242 Broome St., an adjacent condo/commercial building.
Just yesterday, we reported that the Gutter, a Brooklyn-based bowling alley, will be taking a 17,000 square foot space in the basement of 242 Broome.
242 Broome St.
A few months before the first phase of Essex Crossing makes its debut, there’s been a change in one of the big commercial tenants coming to the mega-project. A Florida-based bowling concept, Splitsville Lanes, will be replaced by the Gutter, a home-grown bowling alley.
Back in 2015, Delancey Street Associates (the group building Essex Crossing) announced that Splitsville Lanes would be taking 17,000 square feet on the lower level of 242 Broome St. In an interview yesterday, Andrew Katz of the Prusik Group (one of the development partners) explained the reasons for the switch from one operator to another.
Splitsville Lanes, selected for the project after a nationwide search, had never done business in New York City. At some point, the owners of the company came to the developers to ask about taking on a partner with local experience. Delancey Street Associates was open to the idea, said Katz. In the process of locating the right NYC-based partner, the development team got to know the owners of the Gutter, which operates bowling alleys in Williamsburg/Greenpoint and Long Island City. Splitsville Lanes ultimately dropped out of Essex Crossing, with the Gutter taking over the Lower East Side space.
Image via the Gutter’s website.
In the end, it was probably for the best. The Gutter opened on North 14th Street in 2007, cultivating an old school vibe. As the New York Times noted a few years ago, the venue presents “itself as a cheaper and lower-key alternative to Brooklyn Bowl, its higher-profile neighbor around the corner.” In 2014, Gothamist called the Gutter one of the eight best bowling alleys in the city, praising its “elegant, old school lanes, classic bar and vintage decor.” The existing locations, said Katz, have “a cool, homey feel.” That might be a little harder to replicate in a shiny new real estate project on the Lower East Side, but the owners definitely know New York nightlife.
The entrance to the Gutter will be on Essex Street. Customers will walk into a 500 square foot lobby leading to the main space in the basement. While there are live bands at the Brooklyn original, Katz said the Lower East Side spot will not be a concert venue (there might be live bands from time-to-time). There will be 12 lanes.
Drinks and food will be served (think typical bowling alley grub, not high-end cuisine). The bowling alley is expected to open before the end of this year. We have reached out to co-owner Todd Powers, but haven’t been able to connect just yet.
242 Broome St. also includes 55 condominium apartments, and a new home for the International Center of Photography (ICP won’t open at Essex Crossing until 2019). There’s about 9,000 square feet of ground floor retail space, most of which likely won’t be leased until the building is officially opened in the summer/fall.
UPDATE 4/17 This morning we talked with Todd Powers, who owns the Gutter with Drew DeWitt. They already have preliminary drawings, and an architect is working on more formal designs. Powers said the idea is to play off the subterranean space, giving it a Mid-America/Mid-Century basement feel.
The all-wood lanes, like the Gutter’s other locations, will be sourced from a shuttered bowling alley (the ones in Brooklyn came from Iowa). The place will still feel homey, said Powers, but it will have a bit more polish than the existing venues.
The plan is to serve Neapolitan-style pizza. There will be a full-scale restaurant/kitchen setup. While some live acoustic music is envisioned, the Gutter on the Lower East Side is not meant to be a performance venue. Powers said the build-out will take five or six months once the Department of Buildings signs off on the plans. He’s hoping for a November opening.
Essex Crossing Site 3, 202 Broome St. Rendering by Moso Studio.
The developers of Essex Crossing announced today that they’ve locked in $260 million in financing for a 14-story mixed-use building at 202 Broome St. This means the mega-project in the former Seward Park Urban Renewal Area has secured 90% of its total financing.
The acquisition and construction loan was provided by Square Mile Capital Management. The building on site 3 of Essex Crossing will include 83 luxury condo units and 175,000 square feet of office space. This part of the project will also include a section of the Market Line, an underground retail pavilion stretching across three blocks. The building features about 16,000 square feet of ground floor retail, as well. The site 3 architect is CetraRuddy. Completion is expected in 2021.
The first phase of Essex Crossing on the initial four sites is nearly complete. A low-income senior building is already fully occupied, and leasing is ongoing for a second rental building at 145 Clinton St. A Trader Joe’s. Target, a medical center from NYU Langone, a 14-screen Regal movie theater and a new Essex Street Market will be opening throughout the summer and fall.
In the second phase of construction, sites 3 and 4 will add a total of 350,000 square feet of office space. The developers have not yet announced those commercial tenants.
Delancey Street Associates, the development consortium, is made up of BFC Partners, L+M Development Partners, Taconic Investment Partners and Goldman Sachs. The development costs have climbed to $1.5 billion, from $1.1 billion, when the project was first unveiled in 2013.
In the Post on Sunday, there was a piece from Steve Cuozzo that carried the headline, “The world’s hottest shopping city is becoming a ghost town.” He noted that major commercial corridors throughout the city are littered with vacant storefronts, and challenged the conventional wisdom from the real estate industry that the current retail slump is only temporary. “Bricks-and-mortar retail is shrinking so swiftly and on such a wide scale,” Cuozzo wrote, “it’s going to require big changes in how we plan our new buildings and our cities — although nobody wants to admit it.”
On the Lower East Side, as in much of the city, commercial blocks are filled with rental signs. The photos posted above were all taken during a short stroll down Clinton Street yesterday afternoon. These aren’t even all of the empty storefronts on the stretch between Delancey Street and East Houston Street — only a sampling. Just this past week, another retailer, Scumbags & Superstars, called it quits.
We’re all familiar with the forces battering both independent retail and large corporate stores. The Post points out that online shopping now accounts for more than 9% of all national sales. Then there are rising rents, and spiraling property taxes, which are passed on to beleaguered commercial tenants. In this neighborhood, there’s another factor: low foot traffic during daytime hours.
In a followup on Monday, Cuozzo zeroed in on another piece of the retail puzzle: the many new mega-projects under construction throughout New York. “Some 1.2 million square feet of newly minted retail space,” he reported, “are coming to the Manhattan leasing market at three major new developments — Hudson Yards, Manhattan West and Essex Crossing — even as vacant stores blight almost every part of Manhattan.” According to the story, developers are relatively unconcerned about having to lease so much new retail space.
Target is opening a new store at Essex Crossing.
Since Essex Crossing was mentioned, let’s take a look at how leasing has gone in the huge Lower East Side project.
The mixed-use (residential, commercial, community) complex at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge includes 400,000 square feet of retail across nine development sites. Many of the anchor tenants have been under contract for months, if not years. They include: Regal Cinemas (65,000 sf), Trader Joe’s (30,000 sf), Target (22,500 sf) and Splitsville Lanes (17,000 square feet). Then there’s an expanded Essex Street Market (30,000 sf), which factored into the project from the very beginning. Taken together, more than 165,000 square feet of retail is already accounted for.
On top of these spaces, Essex Crossing includes the Market Line, a 120,000 square foot underground shopping pavilion. The first of three sections of that facility will open later this year with about 70 small vendors. Only a few of them have been publicly announced.
But assuming the team at Delancey Street Associates (the development consortium) fills out the Market Line, they will only have another 100,000 square feet of retail left to lease. Essex Crossing isn’t scheduled for completion until the year 2024.
The bigger question on the Lower East Side is what impact all of the new retail will have on existing small businesses and commercial spaces. If Essex Crossing draws a lot of new shoppers to the neighborhood, all retailers could benefit. But what if the project doesn’t become a shopping magnet? What if the big corporate stores such as Target and Trader Joe’s simply pull customers away from smaller merchants? We’re not going to have answers to these questions until Essex Crossing is open for business in a few months. Some neighborhood leaders are hopeful that other aspects of the project will help lift the fortunes of all businesses. At the top of the list: 350,000 square feet of office space spread across two buildings on Delancey Street. More office workers would mean more daytime street activity and, potentially, more customers.
On Sunday, Cuozzo concluded by arguing that it’s time for the city to rein in retail in new buildings:
We can still avoid becoming a retail ghost town like many of the country’s malls. But to increase demand for our dark storefronts, the city must roll back zoning rules in some neighborhoods that require even more retail in new buildings whether there’s demand for them or not. We should discourage the inclusion of acres of retail in giant new complexes that only add to the glut. Otherwise, the whole town will look like Broadway in the ’50s — a corridor of salad bars and dark windows.
Rendering of New Trader Joe’s at Essex Crossing. Image provided by Trader Joe’s public relations office.
Stop the madness! Trader Joe’s is coming to the new Essex Crossing project. No amount of ridiculous rumormongering will change that.
In recent weeks, there’s been all sorts of online speculation — suggestions that the wildly popular market might be backing out of the Essex Crossing project. The other night at the 7th Precinct Community Council meeting, Essex Crossing Community Relations Manager Katie Archer was called on to address the rumors. She assured traumatized locals that everything is on track for a TJ’s opening later this year.
The public relations office at Trader Joe’s has contributed to the confusion, telling a local blogger (SPBuzz) that the company is, “still interested in the Lower East Side as a potential store location,” without acknowledging that it’s a done deal. [An October 2016 press release from the company’s pr office carried the headline, “Trader Joe’s Signs Lease to Open a New Lower East Side Store Scheduled for 2018.”] The location, at 145 Clinton St., is not listed on Trader Joes’ “Store Openings” web page.
We reached out to TJ’s PR Director, Kenya Friend-Daniel, yesterday, who said, “Our plan is to open a store at that location this year.” She said no one should be concerned about the fact that the opening is not listed on the company’s website. Trader Joe’s, she said, likes to have store buildout details worked out before announcing a target opening date. James Yolles, a spokesperson for the developers (Delancey Street Associates), said the buildout is expected to begin in a matter of weeks.
Trader Joe’s is a notoriously secretive company. In other cities, it has been similarly cagey about opening details. The Commercial Appeal in Memphis spotted work permits for a new store in January but reported, “a Trader Joe’s spokeswoman still would not characterize the permit application as definitive confirmation that the chain is headed to Germantown.”
This past September, a work permit was filed with the Department of Buildings’ for plumbing work at Trader Joes’ Lower East Side’s store. The 30,000 square foot space will be on the lower level of 145 Clinton St., while a smaller Target store will be on the second floor. Target is not quite as shy about trumpeting its LES arrival.
For many months, local residents, elected officials and Community Board 3 have been pressuring the city to do something about the traffic bottleneck at Clinton Street and Grand Street. At a meeting of CB3’s transportation committee this week, District Manager Susan Stetzer said she expects officials from the Department of Transportation (DOT) to present their plans in May. At the same meeting, the committee agreed that CB3 should take part in a broader planning process to deal with traffic congestion in the area.
The problems at Grand and Clinton streets are well documented. The community board expects DOT’s proposal to be narrowly focused on this intersection. There’s a bigger picture, however. By the summer, the first four buildings in the big Essex Crossing development project will open, adding many new residents and retail businesses in the immediate area. At Tuesday evening’s meeting, Tim Laughlin, president of the Lower East Side Partnership, suggested a community visioning process to address all of the traffic concerns.
The visioning would be a collaboration between the Partnership and Community Board 3. It would take into account the impact of Essex Crossing in the blocks between Essex Street and Clinton Street. It would also consider the potential impacts of two proposed projects in the same area: two new towers from the Grand Street Guild and a new residential complex on the former site of the Beth Hamedrash Hagadol Synagogue.
The committee voted in favor of participating in the visioning exercise. No date has been set as of yet. Reps from Delancey Street Associates, developers of Essex Crossing, have been meeting routinely with city agencies about traffic management. We’re told they would be willing to participate in the partnership-CB3 visioning.
The first big commercial ventures will be opening up later this year at Essex Crossing. As you may know, a mid-sized Target store is coming to 145 Clinton St., one of four buildings in the first phase of the big development project. Today we got a glimpse of Target’s signage on the Grand Street side of the mixed residential/retail complex.
According to Target’s website, an opening on the Lower East Side is anticipated in the summertime. The 22,500 square foot space is on the second floor. A 30,000 square foot Trader Joe’s will be on the lower level.
Other major businesses coming to Essex Crossing this year include: Regal Cinemas, Splitsville Lanes and NYU Langone. If you’re interested in jobs from any of these employers, you should reach out to the Lower East Side Employment Network.
We stopped by the brand new GrandLo Cafe for our morning coffee and to meet the team working at Grand Street Settlement’s social enterprise venture at 178 Broome St.
Manager Adam Perez was behind the counter, along with Cindy Vasquez. The cafe, which will serve as a youth training center, is part of the new Essex Crossing project. Opening week hours are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. (take advantage of a $3 coffee & pastry special this week). The business will be open starting next week 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
We can already tell the GrandLo Cafe will be a good community gathering spot. If you’re looking for a casual meeting destination in the neighborhood, check it out.
Photo by Grand Street Settlement.
The first commercial business at Essex Crossing opens for business next week.
The GrandLo Cafe, a social enterprise coffee shop run by Grand Street Settlement, will make a soft debut next Monday, March 12. It’s located at 178 Broome St., just to the east of Clinton Street. Next week’s limited hours will be 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. before a grand opening March 19.
Grand Street Settlement is the lead community partner in Essex Crossing, the 1.9 million square foot project in the former Seward Park Urban Renewal Area. The cafe will serve as a community gathering spot and as a workforce training center for neighborhood youth. They’re serving Counter Culture coffee and pastries from Brick City Baking Co.
In the same building, Grand Street Settlement is running a senior center. There will also be a medical center run by NYU Langone.
Bobby G’s Delancey Street mural, 1984.
The Essex Crossing development project is obviously changing the neighborhood in dramatic ways. A current show at the Hionas Gallery recalls a time, three decades ago, when the former urban renewal site was targeted not for redevelopment — but for radical art.
The longtime East Village artist, Robert Goldman (aka Bobby G), was a co-founder of the activist arts organization ABC No Rio. He was one of the instigators of The Real Estate Show in 1979, in which artists took over a padlocked Delancey Street building to make a statement about the city’s pro-developer policies.
“At No Rio in those early years,” Peter Hionas explains, “(Goldman) engaged the local youth. He had discussions, drawing parties, made videos, and painted their portraits…” Last month, the Crown Heights Gallery (it was formerly located on the Lower East Side), debuted Bobby G: 1984. It includes individual paintings based on a 50-foot mural painted on an abandoned building at Delancey and Suffolk streets (now Essex Crossing site 3, which is under construction).
Here’s more from the press release:
1984 comprises a selection of works from Bobby G’s acclaimed “Youth of the Lower East Side” portrait series, painted in the early 1980s. The seemingly stoic subjects are most notable for the artist’s use of a thin solution of silver radiator paint, which frames the postured contours of his figures then drips downward with abandon, lending each standalone portrait a vibrancy and gravitas. This is the first time in more than 30 years these works have been exhibited in public.
Back in 2014, the Lower East Side’s James Fuentes Gallery organized a group exhibition centered on the Real Estate Show. You can read about that here. ABC No Rio is working towards constructing a new building at 156 Rivington St., a site that it has occupied since 1980. The organization’s decaying tenement was demolished early last year.
The show at the Hionas Gallery Backroom is open through the end of the month (Saturdays only).
Photo by Ian Dryden.