First Look - Shopping in Church
By: Elizabeth Sherrod, managing editor and research director, NAIOP
The former church-turned shopping haven offers retailers state-of-the-art POS systems, store build-out and maintenance support, branded materials, PR and visual merchandising services.
Adaptive re-use is the new mantra in light of the development drought, so how are retail developers stepping up? One example is Manhattan’s landmark Episcopal Church turned legendary nightclub which re-opened in April, reborn as the Flatiron’s own innovative shopping haven.
Limelight Marketplace, located at 656 Avenue of the Americas, is expected to bring new life to the 6th Avenue stretch of the historic Ladies Mile district, creating hundreds of jobs by housing over 60 shops from the "who’s who" in New York City’s eclectic worlds of fashion, accessories, food, design, art, beauty and more. Inspired by the United Kingdom’s Covent Garden, Dover Street Market and Burlington Arcade, Limelight Marketplace’s "festival of shops" features detailed facades and varied designs to invoke the feeling of strolling down a European street.
Reducing start-up and maintenance costs for boutique brands, Limelight Marketplace supplies participants with state-of-the-art POS systems, technology, store build-out and maintenance support, branded materials, marketing, PR and visual merchandising services. Retailers and entrepreneurs can enjoy a presence in the New York City retail market at a fraction of the cost of a street-front address.
The 163-year-old shopping venue houses independent jewelry designers on one floor, a cutting-edge apothecary around the corner, a street-smart boutique for NYC’s "skater" culture, and a level of classic and organic cuisine to attract both new business and consumers.
Transforming the 163-year-old historic building into a three-story shopper’s paradise, retailer Jack Menashe introduced an innovative concept by offering a turn-key solution to encourage both established and up-and-coming boutique brands to invest in brick-and-mortar locations in a tumultuous marketplace. "Limelight Marketplace delivers an innovative shopping experience for customers who have ‘seen it all,’ and an unprecedented opportunity for visionary merchants," said Menashe. "Our plan offers something for everyone – with affordable fashion, unique artwork and home décor, a candy shop that would impress Willy Wonka himself and an organic market offering the ultimate selection of international specialty foods including caviar, gourmet chocolates, specialty meats and many other gastronomic delights."