‘Totokaelo’ Opens Jumbo Pop-Up Space this Friday at 190 Bowery

Posted on: October 4th, 2017 at 5:12 am by

There is major activity happening inside the ground level of the Germania Bank Building on the Bowery. Final preparations are underway to transform this massive space into a temporary fashion emporium.

As previously reported, the owner of 190 Bowery, Aby Rosen, signed an abbreviated lease over the summer with Totokaelo to take 8,918 square-feet. It officially opens to the public on Friday.

The sprawling store won’t be here for long, though, with a stated expiration of March 2018.

Totokaelo was founded in Seattle in 2008, and peddles designer lines including Acne Studios, Comme des Garçons, Jil Sander, and Proenza Schouler. The brand also has a location in nearby SoHo at 54 Crosby Street.

The New York Times had more yesterday:

The first floor is high-ceilinged and airy. Echoes of the bank lobby that occupied it more than a century ago are still there: The walls are a marble the color of desert dust, and uneven mosaic tiles line the floor. Polished wood panels cover the rest of the floor, remnants of a basketball court that Mr. Maisel installed.

Head to the basement and you will pass an elongated cage with a square-shaped swinging door. Its purpose is a mystery. The downstairs is darker, more stark — a cross between a dungeon and an asylum out of a B-horror flick. “Down here you’ll find things a bit more raw and broken,” Ms. Schley said.

A large bank vault with a four-door layer of protection and a cage around it dominates the space. Inside, shoes are displayed on metal shelves that attach magnetically to the walls.

Rosen’s RFR Realty purchased the landmark Germania Bank Building from photographer Jay Maisel three years ago for $55 million. Until now, the Great Bowery – a consortium of creative agencies – had been the only commercial occupant in the building.

Importing Totokaelo to 190 Bowery is seemingly a stop-gap measure in the absence of a permanent occupant. RFR Realty still seeks a commercial tenant willing to cough up the full $2 million per year for the retail space.

Recent Stories

Luxury Development Plagues Newly Reopened DeSalvio Playground in Little Italy

The reimagined DeSalvio Playground debuted back in February. Now, four months later, access is partially restricted thanks to construction work on the neighboring luxury condo building. A tipster sent us this photos illustrating the closure of both the basketball court and rock climbing feature. Contractors set down heavy foam and plywood surfacing while construction concludes […]

Online Petition Protests ‘Outrageous’ 67% Rate Hike at Essex Street Municipal Garage

First they came for street parking; now its the garages. Essex Crossing gobbled up roughly 500 parking spaces around the neighborhood, and many locals allege the fly-by-night rate hike at the Essex Street Municipal garage further prices out area longtimers. As previously reported, the city quietly raised all rates the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. […]

Get in on ‘theGround,’ the New Indoor Soccer Pitch on Monroe Street

Monroe, the restaurant on its eponymous street beneath the Manhattan Bridge, is no longer. The indoor sanctuary of greenery – that veritable forest – is now sanctuary to something different altogether. A sanctuary to sport. The southern Mediterranean eatery shut shop back in February after less than two years and is now officially reborn. It’s […]

New M14 SBS Ticket Kiosks Installed on Essex and Grand

With the new M14 express bus service rolling out next month, so, too, is the related equipment. Namely, those sidewalk ticket kiosks. The latest to arrive are kiosks at the southbound Essex/Delancey stop (across from the new Essex Market), as well as the southbound Essex/Grand stop (outside Kossar’s). Neither are yet switched on. The new […]

Flowers Cafe Returns to Essex Street After 4 Years

What’s old is new again. Flowers Cafe, the retro cafe displaced by development four years ago, returned to its Lower East Side stomping grounds last week. The business reopened around the corner at 39 Essex Street last Friday with a free bagel promotion. You may have seen the handbills in the vicinity. We first reported […]