11 Reasons to Be Excited About the Future

There has been a lot of depressing news lately, and we likely haven’t heard the last of it, so let’s focus on the positive (for one post, anyway). Here are 11 things to look forward to in Lower Manhattan.

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AT LEAST TEN NEW TRIBECA RESTAURANTS
The lineup of restaurants announced for 2017 is impressive: 1) The all-day brasserie from Balthazar alums Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson in the former Cercle Rouge; 2) The Greek’s Mediterranean spinoff/bakery in Truffles Tribeca; 3) sushi master Eiji Ichimura’s eponymous spot on Leonard; 4) chef Masa Takayama’s long-in-the-works Tetsu, also on Leonard; 5) Antique Garage’s Tribeca branch in what was most recently Church Street Tavern; 6) Attraversiamo, Terra’s sister opening across W. Broadway; 7) Buddha Bar, in what was Megu; 8) Serafina, at the corner of W. Broadway and Reade; 9) fast-casual poke restaurant, Humble Fish; and 10) Matt Abramcyk’s second go at the Super Linda space.

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AND NEW WAYS TO WORK THAT FOOD OFF
YogaSpark opened over the weekend (more on that in a day or two). A dedicated studio for Taryn Toomey’s The Class opens in January. Xtend Barre (above) and DanceBody should debut on Warren soon after. SLT has teased a Tribeca location, even saying it’s opening soon, but the whereabouts remain unknown. And if the past few years are any indication, there will be many more new fitness options joining those five.

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ANISH KAPOOR’S 56 LEONARD SCULPTURE
Bring on the silver blob!

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WESTFIELD WORLD TRADE CENTER
Besides the businesses—Duane Reade, Starbucks, et al—aimed more at workers and commuters, the World Trade Center mall will have some destination tenants debuting soon. I’m personally excited for the Havaianas flip-flop store, and then there’s a bunch of food: Breads Bakery on the pedestrian passageway between 3 and 4 World Trade Center, Hawksmoor steakhouse in 3 World Trade Center, and in the mall proper, Little Hunter Burgers, Nunu Chocolates, Joe Coffee, Nobletree Coffee, and Pulia. And several subway entrances should open in the mall, too.

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THE PERELMAN CENTER
The $243 million Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center, is being designed by REX. From the New York Times: The “proposal contains three small theaters that can be combined in various configurations to produce and stage theater, dance, music, opera and experimental works, and can serve as a space for the Tribeca Film Festival each spring. […] The cube-shaped 90,000-square-foot building […] is to be wrapped in thin sheets of translucent white marble encased in glass, giving it a solemn look in daylight but an amber glow from within at night.” The earliest we might expect it to open is 2020. A bajillion renderings here.

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THE SEAPORT DISTRICT
The Seaport District—as the Howard Hughes Corporation has rebranded the revamped South Street Seaport development—should finally come into focus. The biggest change, a from-the-pilings-up redo of Pier 17, is scheduled to open at the end of 2017. It’ll be home to, among other establishments, a 10,000 square-foot Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant with a 2,500-square-foot patio. “The atmosphere won’t be fine-dining but casual along the lines of ABC Kitchen and ABC Cocina,” said the New York Post. In the nearby Tin Building, Vongerichten will have “a 40,000 square-foot, seafood-themed marketplace [that] will not be ethnically focused like French-themed Le District or Italian-inspired Eataly, but simply built around seafood. Retail counters will be mixed with communal tables and noshing counters for ‘chowders, raw bars, sushi, shrimp,’ Vongerichten said.” (Also from the Post.) Elsewhere in the Seaport District, we can expect (although I’m not sure when) an outpost of vegan fast-casual phenomenon By Chloe, a new restaurant from David Chang’s Momofuku Group, the first U.S. outpost of famed Milan boutique 10 Corso Como, a McNally Jackson bookstore, and a Scotch and Soda store. I suspect more tenants will be announced soon.

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BOGARDUS PLAZA
The project to unify Bogardus Garden and Bogardus Plaza has gone slowly, due in no small part to the many city hoops that have to be jumped through. But construction really should start by early spring.

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PIER 26
If all goes well, construction on Pier 26 will start at the end of 2017, and the renderings indicate that it’ll be a very interesting addition to the Hudson River Park and the neighborhood in general.

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THE UNHISTORIC TOWNHOUSE
The new building at 187 Franklin is looking crazy-in-a-good-way: What we can see of the brick façade through the construction netting looks very interesting, and the netting should come down once the windows are installed.

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TWO NEW HOTELS
The hotel under conversion (if that’s a phrase) at 396 Broadway (at Walker) will have room rates under $200, or at least that was the plan in the fall of 2015. Of more note to locals, coffee roaster Blue Bottle, which had an outpost inside All Good Things, is opening a café in the lobby. And work has finally started on the much fancier hotel under construction at 456 Greenwich (at Desbrosses), rendered above; little is known about the amenities at this point, but the odds seem good that there will be a restaurant.

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FRIED CHICKEN AND PIZZA
FiDi, which I christened FaFoo a long time ago for being on the cutting edge of fast food, will have at least three noteworthy newcomers: a Two Boots pizzeria on Nassau; Momofuku’s fried-chicken-sandwich chain, Fuku, on Wall; and a three-story Chik-Fil-A next to Fulton Center. Fast food isn’t my thing, but given how much comfort food I’ve required since the presidential election, I wouldn’t rule it out.

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