By Faith Hope Consolo
Everyone understands the language of Shopping, and with a new
season comes a kaleidoscope of new options. I like to think
of Manhattan as a chessboard for the shopping elite, comprising
gilded avenues and haute properties. High-profile retailers calculate
their moves, hoping to declare checkmate: a coveted jewel perfectly
positioned with maximum exposure to crème de la crème clients.
On Magnificent Madison Avenue, auction house Bonhams & Butterfield has moved to a great expanse at number 580. The
sparkling jewels at Carat will be perfectly displayed at 509 Madison.
Modern Chinese lifestyle brand Shanghai Tang will open this spring at
600 Madison. Judith Ripka, a longtime fixture of the Jewel Coast, at
673 Madison, unveiled a grand renovation and expansion. Anichini fine
linens took 19 East 65th Street, just off Madison, while Frette is growing
its 799 Madison location. Ralph Lauren will transform the Gold
Coast with a complete redesign of its 888 Madison boutique. During
construction, this “crown jewel” of Madison Avenue will be situated
in temporary quarters at Madison and 80th Street. French clothier Arthur has 922 Madison, space formerly occupied by Fresh. J. Crew
Collection is coming to 1035 Madison, featuring high end, limited edition pieces. Jacadi signed for a corner location at Madison
and 89th Street. Tracey Feith plans her first store out of
Soho at Madison and 93rd Street.
On Fabulous Fifth Avenue, the most noteworthy
reopening is at the corner of 56th Street, where Gucci has “trumped” Manhattan with a regal emporium. Diesel has
snatched Gucci’s former digs, for a sixth Manhattan store at
the tony corner of 54th Street. Miu Miu is moments away
from opening at 57th Street, and Ermenegildo Zegna has
completed an overhaul of its space at number 663. Blanc de Chine’s flagship at 673 Fifth will add yet another level -
the third floor will become “bleu de chine,” a new collection
inspired by Chinese martial arts. Louis Vuitton’s 57th Street
Palace will expand into the adjacent building for another four-
floor emporium. Juicy Couture will replace Mexx at Fifth and
52nd Street. Free People has liberated space at 79 Fifth and
Zara has another major crossroad location at 42nd and Fifth.
Along the Luxurious 57th Street Corridor, Christian
Lacroix’s splashy debut at 36 East 57th Street was warmly
received by designer divas.
On Park Avenue, the Waldorf is poised to welcome
The Guerlain Spa.
On the Upper East Side, Bloomingdale’s opened No. 59
Metro, the new shop-in-shop men’s emporium. Just across
Lexington, a multi-level Victoria’s Secret will overtake the
58th Street corner. Dylan’s Candy Bar is answering to
the demands of the posh sweet tooth – its 1011 Third Avenue
location will add a third level for private parties, and
is expanding to their first and second floors. In apparel
news, the newly renovated shop will host a special feature
called “candy couture,” along with a full dessert cafe and
ice cream bar. Mephisto has its first concept shop at 1029
Third Avenue. 1127 Third Avenue will now sport yogawear by
Lululemon Athletica. Janet Sartin relocates her spa from
Park Avenue to 875 Third Avenue. True Religion is taking
the former Aveda space on Third Avenue. Farther north,
Threads baby clothing and gifts advances a concept of premium
service at 1451 Second Avenue. CB2, Crate & Barrel’s
hip outpost comes to Lexington Avenue’s ever-changing 86th
In Midtown West, American Apparel will have a
shop at Ninth Avenue and 43rd Street.
On the Upper West Side, Scoop, “the ultimate
closet” for trendsetters, will take the former Reebok store
at 160 Columbus Avenue, at West 67th Street. The Time
Warner Center will host a denim outpost by True Religion and Swarovski. Another expansion by Apple is in the works,
as 1981 Broadway – currently Victoria’s Secret – prepares to
be transformed. Bluemercury heads to 2305 Broadway at
83rd Street with many more to follow. Circuit City is ready
to open in Lincoln Center.
In the East Village, New Zealand designer Karen
Walker has a pop-up space within Den, 330 East 11th Street,
following an impressive roster of past exhibited designers
Cheap Monday, Rag & Bone and Tim Hamilton.
In the West Village, Alexis Bittar jewelry designer
took 353 Bleecker Street. Kate Spade will reign at 400
Bleecker Street. 383 Bleecker will house another Ralph
Lauren, while current tenant L’Uomo plans to relocate to a
larger space 271 West 4th Street. Martin Margiela’s shop is
expanding, taking over the space next-door, previously occupied
by home interior purveyor Stephen Sclaroff.
In Teeming Times Square, American Eagle will
spread out over 4 mega floors at 1551 Broadway.
In Union Square, a supersized M.A.C. Pro is set to
open at 7 West 22nd Street.
In Chic Chelsea, 55 West 25th Street will be Gracious
Home, helping design-obsessed shoppers outfit their
residences with the most luxurious accoutrements.
In Tribeca, Rick Owens will have a boutique at
Hudson and Dominick by early summer.
In Sumptuous Soho, there is much news to report,
as always. Hugo Boss may be leaving Fifth Avenue, but will
unveil splendid space at 555 Broadway between Prince and
Spring Streets. Italian accessories company Braccialini will
quickly become a favorite in its new 436 West Broadway
home. Munich-based Bogner will set up at 380 West Broadway,
perfectly positioned between Downtown Cipriani and
Te Casan and across the street from Ralph Lauren and
Anthropologie. Grom designer gelato will tempt our taste
buds at 233 Bleecker Street. Topshop Soho will be at 478
Broadway, while MNG by Mango has also joined the fast
fashion race at 561 Broadway. Muji opened on Lower Broadway,
and Buckler at long last debuted at 93 Grand Street.
Swedish label Acne took 10 Greene Street. Adidas Originals at 136 Wooster Street has been renovated. Italian jewelry
and watch brand Breil, just signed a lease for their first stateside
shop at 148 Spring Street. Glory Chen will have her first shoe boutique 121 Greene Street. Kira Plastinina, the 15-yearold
design ingénue from Moscow, has her first showroom at
594 Broadway, and two additional locations are in the works
- 509 Fifth Avenue and 22 West 34th Street. Spanish clothing
company Custo Barcelona plans to move into 145 Spring
Street at Wooster Street, a block from their other store at
474 Broome Street.
In NoHo, supremely hip Brooklyn boutique OAK has emerged from the Williamsburg - Park Slope neighborhoods,
taking 28 Bond Street.
In the Marvelous Meatpacking District, Japanese
designer Yohji Yamamoto’s shop bowed at One Gansevoort
Street and just across the street, launched Y-3 sportswear,
his new collaboration with Adidas. No doubt biggest news in
the neighborhood is the Apple Store at 401 West 14th Street
and 9th Avenue, one block south of Chelsea Market. Hugo
Boss is also rumored to be taking space adjacent to Apple.
Helmut Lang is not satisfied with its modest Washington
Street space, and will move across the street from Jeffrey in the High Line Building, 450 West 14th Street. Adam, the
eponymous line by rising designer Adam Lippes, formerly
of Oscar de la Renta, offers formidable sportswear at 678
The Financial District is yet again front and center
with word of Cartier, Versace, Ferragamo and Barney’s circling for space.
A notable number of new dining sanctuaries are
in the works for our City of bon vivants. Feast your eyes on
The restaurant scene below Union Square is
enjoying more new entries than ever before. The Smith, an American Bistro from the restaurant team behind Jane and
Neptune Room is now at 55 Third Avenue. 50 Commerce
Street – once home to Grange Hall - welcomed Commerce.
Former Chanterelle and Employees Only chefs will open
Zeppelin, at 21 West 9th Street. The Art Deco-style brasserie
will have four dining rooms and a rear garden. Marc
Forgione, formerly a chef with Laurent Tourondel, plans to
bring American fare to Forge, 134 Reade Street this spring.
The owners of Momofuku Ko will open Ko at 163 First
Avenue, offering a prix fixe-only dinner menu, which the chef
will change daily.
African pan-fusion comes to the Meatpacking
District with Merkato 55, at 55 Gansevoort Street. The new
restaurant’s ambience echoes African tribal colors and its
soundtrack will celebrate African rhythm. Spotted Pig owner
Ken Friedman partnered with Mario Batali and others to
launch John Dory, a new seafood spot at 85 Tenth Avenue.
The Palm steakhouse will open its fourth and
largest Manhattan outpost in the ground floor of the luxury
condominiums at 200 Chambers Street.
Restaurateur extraordinaire Danny Meyer has broken
ground at 1 Union Square East, where he will open Luna
Park. Meyer has launched an ambitious project with the
City Parks Department, which will include converting the
park’s pavilion, built in 1930, into a windowless restaurant.
Rustic Italian fare will fuse with Greek elements at
Mia Dona, 204 East 58th Street. The seasonal transformation
of 100 East 63rd Street has borne Park Avenue Spring,
with a menu to satisfy even the most refined palates. The
former Nicole Farhi store, 10 East 60th Street, will welcome
a boldly decorated Rouge Tomate, outfitted in striking red
and white décor. Chef Alain Ducasse has brought an extensive
wine list and savory menu items Adour at the St. Regis,
2 East 55th Street, replacing Lespinasse. The Essex House,
154 Central Park South, opened South Gate, boasting
American food by the former chef of Eleven Madison Park.
Wine and tapas abound at Buceo 95, the Upper
West Side’s newest entry at 201 West 95th Street. Bar
Boulud just opened around Lincoln Center, 1900 Broadway,
boasting everything from bistro fare to elaborate wine lists.
Luxury residences at the Georgica, 85th and Second Avenue,
welcome Ciaobella from Enrico Proietti, who also owns
Baraonda, Per Lei, and Bella Blue.
It is estimated that by 2010, New York City will
have 20,000 newly built and renovated hotel rooms, just in
time to accommodate the constantly increasing number of
tourists eager to explore Manhattan’s shopping and dining
landscape. In a new trend for 2008, much of the hospitality
sector’s expansion is centered around Downtown Manhattan
and the in outer boroughs, particularly Brooklyn.
The highly anticipated Greenwich Hotel, owned in
part by actor Robert DeNiro, will accept reservations starting
April 20th. The eight-story, 75-room, amenity-laden hotel is
located at 377 Greenwich Street. We also await the openings
of Andre Balazs’ Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District,
and the Downtown W Hotel, set to transform Wall Street.
Almost 150 rooms will grace the Cooper Square
Hotel, set to open this Spring in the newly teeming Bowery
neighborhood. The Hotel will have a performance space, bars
and a Table 8 restaurant. At 86 West Broadway, the Thompson
Smyth Tribeca will be the first Thompson brand hotel to
have residences on the top of the building. The Hyatt Andaz is simultaneously preparing for two openings – 75 Wall Street
and Fifth Avenue and 41st Street. Andaz is the boutique
trademark of the powerhouse hotel corporation, Hyatt. The
Wall Street location will have 250 suites and 350 residences,
while details on midtown are still under wraps.
In Brooklyn, the Smith Hotel at 75 Smith Street will
have 93 suites and 50 luxury condominiums, proving that hospitality
in the boroughs is quite high-end. A 300-room Sheraton and adjacent Starwood Aloft Hotel, a spinoff of the W Hotel chain, will come to Duffield Street, near Willoughby Street.
The Hotel Indigo will bring unique ambience to
West 28th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, as
the lobby’s décor will change design and color, much like a
mood ring. The VU Hotel at 653 Eleventh Avenue will have
360-degree views of the Hudson River, a full-service spa and
a rooftop bar and deck.
It certainly doesn’t take long for a vacant space to be seized
by a designer, restaurateur or hotelier. In New York, home
to the most exciting and cosmopolitan streets in the world,
we are uniquely prepared to shop and enjoy Spring!
Faith Hope Consolo
Chairman, The retail Group