Times Square blight becomes colorful shop

TRD New York /
May.May 01, 2009 12:48 PM
alternate textSave Fashion at the Port Authority

An empty ground-floor space in the Port Authority Bus Terminal has been transformed into a pop-up shop filled with young designers’ clothes at discount prices. 

For the past five years the space, which on Eighth Avenue between 41st and 42nd streets, has been unoccupied. Vornado Realty Trust is planning to build an office tower on top of the retail space, although there is no time line for the project yet.

“It was so horrible looking,” Barbara Blair Randall, president of the Fashion Center Business Improvement District, said at a launch party for the pop-up shop last night. “All the windows were covered in brown paper. It wasn’t a nice sight for pedestrians.”

To spruce up Eighth Avenue, the BID and the Times Square Alliance — which promotes economic development and public improvements in Times Square —  approached the Port Authority to Turn The Space Into A Temporary Place to support young designers and artists, combining the spirits of the Garment District south of the Port Authority and theater scene to the north.

Port Authority gave the groups a six-month lease at a $1 a month rent, but the alliance and the BID are responsible for the pop-up’s up-keep.

“We thought it was a great idea,” said Stephen Napolitano, general manager of the Port Authority Bus Terminal and Lincoln Tunnel, noting that he had to give the groups a short-term lease because of the planned development, but the lease could be extended if the Port Authority doesn’t have a use for the space at the end of the six months.

The pop-up shop, called Save Fashion, opens to the public today and will have different designers’ duds for the next four weeks. On the racks in the space this week are clothes by Charlotte Ronson, Rachel Comey and Alice Ritter, among many others, but the stock will change each week. Fashion Web site Refinery29.com brought in the designers and created the Save Fashion concept.

“A lot of designers are getting stuck with overstock because stores are closing,” said Piera Gelardi, style and art director of Refinery29.com, adding that selling clothes in the Port Authority space is a good way for the designers to make some extra money, especially because of the “insane foot traffic” in the area.

Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, said at the end of the four weeks, they might do another fashion pop-up in the space with Refinery 29.com, and they are also thinking about using the space for art shows.

“It’s changing people’s perception of Eighth Avenue,” Tompkins said. “There’s literally no place to shop in the neighborhood. The Port Authority has enormous pedestrian traffic, but not retail servicing the residential, office and theater populations in the neighborhood.”


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Governor Andrew Cuomo (inset) and a rendering of LaGuardia's AirTrain (Credit: Getty Images, ANewLGA)

AOC joins in fight against Cuomo’s $2B LaGuardia AirTrain project

Cushman & Wakefield CEO Brett White and the Oculus (Credit: Cushman & Wakefield and Unsplash)

Cushman’s management contract at Oculus extended despite woes

1412 Broadway (Credit: Google Maps)

Isaac Chetrit lands $210M refi for Garment District office building

The M&M’s store at 1600 Broadway (Credit: Google Maps)

Home of M&M’s Times Square store for sale, asking $200M

The architect claims the design, construction and marketing of the tower rips off the design of a tower he planned and modeled for his thesis

Lawsuit over WTC design is whittled down

Families that made New York City: The legacy of the Rockefellers

Families that made New York City: The legacy of the Rockefellers

Santiago Calatrava with the Constitution Bridge in Venice and the Oculus (Credit: Getty Images)

It’s not just the leaking Oculus: Santiago Calatrava hit with suit over Venice bridge

216-222 West 30th Street (Credit: Google Maps)

Garment District assemblage hits the market for $60M

arrow_forward_ios
Loading...