Revamped Essex Street Market Targeted for September 2018 Launch
Let the countdown begin.
After nearly eighty years in the same spot, the Essex Street Market is slated to launch down the street in Essex Crossing come September 2018.
The Economic Development Corporation – the Market’s landlord – provided a nuts-and-bolts update to Community Board 3 last week. Much of the presentation was a rehash of what’s already been in the news. Namely that the $15 million replacement facility is a threefold size upgrade, offering 37,000 square-feet of available retail, and a 4,700 square-foot mezzanine level that boasts seating and a “demonstration kitchen.” The larger space also allows for eleven new vendors and two restaurant tenants. The newcomers will receive 87 to 532 square-feet each; restaurants will get 1,100 square-feet. There will also be a dedicated “after hours” zone for late-night shopping (and drinking).
According to the latest plans, the Market and its entire family of vendors (currently 28) will shuffle across Delancey Street by September 2018, three months after the 24-story “Gateway” building is targeted for completion.
Some additional takeaways:
- EDC plans on minimizing the vendor transition period to eliminate any possible confusion amongst customers. The ultimate goal is avoiding a scenario where both locations are operational at the same time, which would undoubtedly cause confusion.
- Most vocal criticism came courtesy of CB3 member Alex Militano, who initially raised concern about the restaurant anchors sought for the two vacant spaces in the new facility. She asked for additional information on the types of business preferred, but couldn’t get a straight answer other than the team is essentially casting a wide net with the RFP. (“Adding to the ‘alot’ of everything we already have.”)
- There is a push-pull dynamic regarding the best business hours for the Essex Street Market as a whole. Many vendors are multi-generational and aren’t built for a forced twelve-hour workday that would meet the area demand. Nevertheless, there is a concerted effort by EDC to extend the overall hours, since the evening crowd is heretofore untapped (8pm general closing; 11pm after-hours during the week, and midnight on weekends).
- EDC and its partners at the Lower East Side Partnership are marketing the Market as a food destination with a slate of programming (i.e. ticketed events such as classes). There is still fear by some in the community that locals are being marginalized in the new market vs. those destination seekers.
Meanwhile, the shit-brown exterior cladding is currently making its way up the facade.