The folks at Westfield recently said that the World Trade Center’s shopping mall “will be tourist- and New Yorker-friendly,” according to the Commercial Observer. The Howard Hughes Corporation has said the same thing about the South Street Seaport’s to-be-revamped Pier 17, and I’m sure that Brookfield has similar aspirations about the World Financial Center (another Commercial Observer article that just came out says that restaurateurs Stephen Starr [of Morimoto and Buddakan] and Todd English [Olives and The Plaza Food Hall] are rumored to be involved).
In my “In the News” post that included the first Commercial Observer article, I pointed out that I could think of two existing stores that appealed to both New Yorkers and tourists—Eataly and Apple. (Wait, here’s one more: Nordstrom. And maybe Century 21. Shake Shack, I suppose, but that brand has an ever-shrinking half-life.) Are there others? I don’t mean which types of stores or restaurants would you like to see at Pier 17 and/or the World Trade Center; I mean, can you think of any shops or restaurants that currently exist—they don’t have to be in New York City—that would be a draw for both you and someone visiting you?
New York Manhattan gets colonized by national and international brands—been up an avenue lately?—I just can’t imagine what’s left that’s well-known enough for travelers to be attracted to it, that has enough money to pay what must be high rent, and that’s also interesting to New Yorkers who already may have access to that brand in Soho, or the West Village, or the Meatpacking District, or on Fifth Avenue or Madison Avenue. I’m not saying the businesses don’t exist. I’m saying I can’t think of them—which is where you come in.
Think of it as a free focus group for the developers.