Positioning itself as a local destination for downtown Manhattan's well-heeled financial district, New York's upscale Brookfield Place mall has begun the first phase of its retail launch.
Joining the Hudson Eats food court, the mall is located in a commercial tower at the base of the Hudson River in a complex formerly known as the World Financial Centre. It's accessed via a tunnel (still under construction) that runs from the World Trade Centre transport hub for the city's Subway and New Jersey Path trains which, when it officially opens later this year, will serve approximately 200,000 commuters a day. It also has street-level entrances and direct underground access for thousands of workers in the 1,776 ft tall Freedom Tower opposite.
Architecturally, the cavernous 375,000 sq ft, two-storey structure is predominantly glass and iron, with a 'winter garden' feel. A multitude of terraces lead out to the waterfront for outdoor dining and relaxation – affirming its wider aim of becoming a space for socialising as much as shopping.
The Hudson Eats food court, which opened in mid-2014 and is already a hugely popular lunch destination for workers, will now also provide vital daily footfall for the mall's high-end stores. Boutiques already open include US fashion designers Michael Kors, Diane Von Furstenburg and Tory Burch, plus an international store for Swiss watchmaker Omega and French swimwear brand Vilebrequin. An adjacent, newly opened 30,000 sq ft food zone focused on French cuisine, dubbed Le District, will further help to bolster the fashion brands' fortunes.
The second phase of the retail development is due to launch later this spring and will welcome a host of largely European luxury heritage brands, including Burberry, Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci and Hermes. In 2016, it will be anchored by US department store Saks Fifth Avenue.
Further cementing Lower Manhattan as a retail destination, Australian shopping-centre chain Westfield is also due to open a 350,000 sq ft mall at the World Trade Centre later this year, featuring 150 mixed-price-point stores.
For more on mall developments, see Mall Worlds, New French Shopping Malls, Boxpark Pop-Up Mall and Mall Museums: Luxury Retrospectives. For more on transport-hub-connected retail, see Commuter Commerce – part of our Industry Trend Roaming Retail.