Real Estate: Development! | chelseanow.com

Real Estate: Development!

The Chelsea Local wants to woo area residents to Chelsea Market’s new 13,000-square-foot cellar retail space. Image courtesy Chelsea Market.

BY WINNIE McCROY

CHELSEA MARKET GOES “LOCAL” | Launching on Thurs., Sept. 28 with a special celebration, Chelsea Market opens Phase 1 of “The Chelsea Local” — the 13,000-square-foot retail expansion of their lower level. The new cellar space is designed to serve as a “grocery-focused market within a market,” providing locals with direct access to groceries and rare ingredients.

“We’re committed to keeping Chelsea Market dynamic and community-focused,” said Michael Phillips of Jamestown, owner of Chelsea Market. “The Chelsea Local is a place for our neighbors to shop for groceries from local purveyors in one easily accessible space.”

A spokesperson for Chelsea Market told Chelsea Now that the space has been curated with local purveyors — some new and others longtime residents — to offer fresh, delicious products for shoppers to enjoy. They are also reaching out to actual “locals” so the Market can serve as an amenity to the surrounding neighborhood by offering easily accessible, direct access to the groceries and rare food items.

New food-based purveyors at the event include longtime produce supplier Manhattan Fruit Market; cooking supply store Buon Italia; organic small-batch dairy farmers Ronnybrook Farm Dairy; artisanal upstate meat supplier Dickson’s Farmstand Meat Counter; wholesale Saxelby Cheesemongers; and the hot sauce shop Heatonist.

Some have speculated that the move is part of real estate company Jamestown’s overall strategy to redirect resources to local residents, in the face of the stalled vertical expansion of Chelsea Market.

But a spokesperson for Chelsea Market insists, “They’re really unrelated. It is an effort to better utilize underused space and create more amenities for our neighbors.”

Participating business say they can already see the impact of this strategy. Dave Richman of Ronnybrook said, “Chelsea Market is a tourist destination, but it was originally supposed to provide the neighborhood with great produce, meat, and milk. It was supposed to be their marketplace. And I think opening this downstairs area is reaching the local clientele, and bringing Chelsea Market back to the neighborhood, rather than just being for the tourists.”

Richman said that in addition to current Chelsea Local purveyors, there’s also “a new Asian food store coming, that’s going to bring with it lots of people who are interested in those new ingredients. It’s great, and it’s opened a lot of opportunities for new stalls, and a lot to look forward to.”

Phase 2 of the downstairs expansion does not yet have an opening date, but is expected sometime in the coming year.

A rendering of the Hudson Yards Neiman Marcus store, 10th Ave. entrance. Image courtesy Related-Oxford.

NEIMAN MARCUS SHRINKS ITS HUDSON YARDS FLAGSHIP STORE | The Dallas-based luxury clothing chain Neiman Marcus is reportedly in talks with developer Related Companies to downsize the square footage of its flagship property in New York City’s new Hudson Yards, expected to open in the fall of 2018.

While they are still finalizing exact specifications for the store, they are reportedly going to end up very close to their original 215,000-square-feet plan.

“The store was originally contemplated at 215,000 leasable square feet and, with construction well underway, we are now finalizing exact specifications for the store,” a spokesperson for Neiman Marcus told Chelsea Now. “We plan to make the layout of the non-selling space more efficient, while keeping the customer facing space and our sales projections in line with original plans.”

“As always contemplated, Neiman Marcus is now well under construction on their flagship that spreads across three floors of the Shops & Restaurants of Hudson Yards,” echoed Related in their statement. They note that the retail portion of Hudson Yards has commitments to occupy 70 percent of available floor space. But some worry that by cutting the size of their store, Neiman will negatively impact Hudson Yards’ ability to attract other luxury retail stores.

Like other big retailers nationwide including Polo Ralph Lauren and Barneys, Neiman Marcus has been hit by declining in-store traffic as shoppers turn to online purchasing and casual fashion. Earlier this year, Neiman’s top brass was rumored to have met at investment bank Lazard to discuss whether Related Cos. might take an ownership stake in the department store, after declining sales over the past seven quarters and nearly $5 billion in debt.

But Related Chairman Stephen Ross told Fox Business they had no interest, saying, “Neiman Marcus is a great company, and we are a developer, and I don’t think those two areas come together.” He said that more than 90 percent of sales still took place in stores, adding that Hudson Yards was “changing the new heart of New York.”

And, while Saks Fifth Avenue owner Hudson Bay Co. was in the lead to acquire the retailer, in June Neiman Marcus ended those negotiations, saying the company was no longer for sale.

“We at Neiman Marcus Group are as excited as ever about having a new, three-level flagship store at Hudson Yards. We continue to focus on our customers and delivering unparalleled services, experiences, and incredible merchandise,” said a spokesperson for Neiman Marcus.

Amazon will bring 2,000 jobs to its new presence at Manhattan West (450 W. 33rd St.). Photo via brookfieldproperties.com.

AMAZON OPENS SECOND HQ AT MANHATTAN WEST | Brookfield Properties emerges the victor as Amazon announces it will open its second headquarters in their Manhattan West mini-megaproject, featuring six mixed-use buildings on Manhattan’s west side, from Ninth to 10th Ave., from W. 31st to 33rd Sts. Amazon recently signed a 15-year lease to occupy the sixth and seventh floors (as well as part of the eighth and 10th floors) of the building at 450 W. 33rd St. that now sports a glass exterior, courtesy of an REX design.

Amazon leased 360,000-square-feet of the building now known as 5 Manhattan West to serve as the main location for Amazon Advertising. They will spend $55 million to make the space energy-efficient for the 2,000 new workers they expect to hire by next year, including software engineers, data analysts, and economists.

This move brings 5 Manhattan West up to 99 percent occupancy, with other notable tenants including JPMorgan Chase, and Amazon property Whole Foods, which will occupy a 60,000-square-feet space at the base of the office tower.

The online giant already employs some 1,8000 workers in their three New York City locations: their 350,000-square-foot Prime Hub on W. 34th St., the bookstore at Columbus Circle, and the $9 million Fashion Photo Studio in Brooklyn. They are also planning to open a massive 855,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Bloomfield, Staten Island, creating 2,250 new jobs.

“Amazon’s further expansion in New York is proof positive that our strong economic climate, diverse workforce and talent are helping to attract top-notch companies from around the world,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo in a statement. The state has offered Amazon up to $20 million in tax credits through New York’s Excelsior Jobs Program.

Through Oct. 19, Amazon is also seeking bids for a site to build a second North American $5 billion headquarters, where they will hire another 50,000 high-paid employees. Some, like Related’s Ross, “can’t see them really coming to New York, realistically,” believing New York is too expensive to be a viable option.

But Amazon has said that when it comes to the new headquarters — which they’ve dubbed HQ2 (and which could resemble their huge 8.1 million-square-foot Seattle campus in design) — they’ll land in a metro area where they expect “to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community.” Their RFP (request for proposal) notes that incentives offered by bidders will be “significant factors” in their decision.

“We want to encourage states and communities to think creatively for viable real estate options, while not negatively affecting our preferred timeline,” said Amazon in a statement. Brooklyn leaders are gearing up to enter their bid.

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  1. […] Dallas-based, high-end clothing chain, downsized its flagship store at The Shops & Restaurants, when it was reported that the store would be 215,000 square feet. The store will be 190,000 square feet, Scaperotti said in an email. Like other retailers facing […]