EXCLUSIVE: Who’s Coming to Manhattan West

·6 min read

A distinct stretch of retail — weighted toward wellness, food and beverage, entertainment and with a dash of fashion — is emerging on the west side of Manhattan.

It’s a major component of the giant, $4.5 billion, 7 million-square-foot mixed-used development by Brookfield Properties, called Manhattan West, which has its opening party set for Tuesday.

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Set between Ninth and Tenth Avenues and 31st and 33rd Streets, Manhattan West fills what was once was a gaping void in the area, and creates a pedestrian-friendly continuum between Hudson Yards and Moynihan Station, with a 2.5 acre open-air public space flanked by retail stores on both sides. The long and narrow elevated High Line park will extend 1,200 feet right into Manhattan West by early 2023, spurring the foot traffic.

WWD has learned that the following stores will open this year and into 2022 at Manhattan West. They include:

• Reset by Therabody, a 4,500-square-foot wellness center opening spring 2022, for massage, cryotherapy, sound and light therapy, and IV treatments.

• New Stand, debuting next month and advancing the company’s newsstand format into its first true brick-and-mortar format selling publications, home, health, beauty, wellness, consumer electronics, tech gadgets, stationery and fashion accessories.

• A 1,400-square-foot Peachy store for skin care with an anti-wrinkle treatment studio, opening in November. Peachy has only two other locations in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and SoHo.

• Public Rec, the athleisure brand, debuts its first store in New York, a 1,900-square-foot unit launching in October.

• OPR Eyewear, which sells hand-crafted Italian eyewear. The 1,400-square-foot shop also opens next month.

Others retailers launching this month: a 9,000-square-foot NHL Shop and a Daily Provisions all-day café operated by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality restaurant group.

In October, a 40,000-square-foot Citizens New York food hall, developed in partnership with former hotelier Sam Nazarian’s new venture, C3, and a Life Wine & Spirits shop, also from C3, will open toward the end of the year. C3 counts Brookfield Asset Management and Simon Property Group as investors.

Also arriving in October, Ci Siamo, Danny Meyer’s take on Italian cuisine; Zou Zou’s, an eastern Mediterranean-style restaurant owned by Michael Stillman; a Starbucks with a bespoke storefront and interior and a to-go window, and a Rothmans men’s wear shop. The family-owned Rothmans operates three other men’s stores, on Park Avenue South in Union Square, and in Scarsdale and Bronxville in Westchester.

In November, a Midnight Theater seating 160 for live performances and a Chinese restaurant above, called Hidden Leaf, will open.

The 240,000-square-foot Manhattan West retail component is anchored by a 65,000-square-foot Whole Foods (already open) and a 40,000-square-foot Peloton studio for creating streaming content and spin classes, which will be up and running later this year. In spring 2022, a Peloton store for stationary bikes, tread and apparel will also open.

“When you start with a grocery as an anchor, it’s a signal that we want Manhattan West to be a hub for the community,” said Jason Maurer, senior vice president of retail leasing at Brookfield.

Adding to that aura is a planned 10,000-square-foot primary and preventive care center. And also on the premises, a City National Bank, the Australian coffee-maker Bluestone Lane (both opened) and a Pendry boutique hotel with a Black Fox coffee shop that started operating last Friday.

It’s not that the city needs more stores, but Manhattan West’s collection of retail is principally devoid of the garden variety brands. “We felt strongly about doing something very unique, from a merchandising perspective,” Maurer said.

The two rows of retail rise two stories, or 54 feet, and is 95 percent leased, according to Maurer. Atop the retail structures are tiered terraces for dining and people watching. In between is the outdoor public space, which contains a 30,000-square-foot installation of oversize lemons and trees and fabric “clouds” backlit by LED lighting and a permeating lemon scent. It’s called Citrovia and adds to the unusual character of the property while the cloud covering conceals scaffolding above for the construction of the 58-story office tower, Two Manhattan West, which should be completed by 2023. The One Manhattan West office tower has been completed.

Manhattan West also has 844 residential units and is built atop huge concrete slabs above the railroad yards for the Long Island Railroad and Amtrak. Brookfield started buying up properties for Manhattan West 40 years ago.

Soon to be erected is a 101.6-foot by 17.5-foot screen, intended for video content, movies and to broadcast events such as the World Cup, and not for advertising, and there will be a skating rink from November to April.

“This isn’t a mall. Effectively, it’s a pedestrian streetscape,” Maurer said.

The outdoor public space within Manhattan West. Photo by Jakob Dahlin.
The outdoor public space within Manhattan West. Photo by Jakob Dahlin.

“One of our primary objectives was to knit together the edges of the community,” said Sabrina Kanner, Brookfield’s executive vice president of development, design and construction. “We very much wanted Manhattan West to not be an enclave within the community. We wanted it to feel part of the community, like a public park, very open to the city,” with a range of programming outdoors that doesn’t interfere with the retailing. She cited food kiosks, ping pong, musical performances, the Streb acrobatic dance troupe, art exhibits and exercise classes, as part of the programming.

“It was a little daunting in the beginning when we were planning, but we spent time visiting other retail venues, such as Rockefeller Center and Channel Gardens,” examining the elements that encourage pedestrian circulation, Kanner said.

She said the connection to the High Line should be ready by early 2023 completing “a really interesting journey going from one very different space to another very different space,” from Moynihan Station to Manhattan West, to the High Line to Hudson Yards.” The development is expected to also draw from the Broadway theater district and Madison Square Garden.

“You are not just traveling between large buildings, which could have been the experience here,” Kanner said. “There’s a cozier, personal feel as opposed to walking a canyon of large buildings. From the ground level, you can recognize people up on the terraces and they can look down and enjoy the events in the plaza.” There’s also texturing in the construction, Kanner added, citing the wood and stone seating, and the “jet mist” charcoal and gray concrete paving, among other elements.

“Big scale projects of this size can be daunting, but there is a very human scale to Manhattan West,” observed Michael Stillman, of the Quality Branded restaurant group, which operates Zou Zou’s. The restaurant has a menu and decor that draws cultural touch points from Israel, Lebanon, Tunisia, Morocco and Turkey; a wood-burning stove; a resin-lit, white enamel bar with tile work along the floor and up the sides; arches, and indoor and outdoor seating.

“There’s been a real change and real shift in the area,” Stillman said. “There is going to be a lot of exciting things happening over here. It has slowed down over the last couple of years, but we are starting to see change. There is going to be a real turnaround.”

Manhattan West with Zou Zou’s eastern Mediterranean restaurant (center). Photo by Jakob Dahlin.
Manhattan West with Zou Zou’s eastern Mediterranean restaurant (center). Photo by Jakob Dahlin.

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