NEW YORK — At The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards, the large urban shopping center that has had its share of challenges, the mix is changing.
Louis Vuitton is back in the mall with a freestanding store that opened on Thursday, having previously operated a store inside the Neiman Marcus store, which closed in fall 2020.
Several restaurants and services are on the way, and Related Cos., the developer of Hudson Yards, is expected to reveal soon that an office tenant will be moving into Neiman’s former space. “We’re close to a deal,” Kimberly Pohlen, senior vice president of center leasing, told WWD during an interview about the evolution of Hudson Yards, with fellow vice president Webber Hudson. executive of Related.
The shops and restaurants of Hudson Yards, anchored in the sprawling mixed-use Hudson Yards complex on Manhattan’s West Side, opened a grand slam in March 2019 with crowds pouring in, in awe and curiosity.
A year later, COVID-19 hit. Office workers, tourists and shoppers disappeared from the scene, and there were a series of departures from retailers and restaurants, including Dallas-based luxury department store Neiman’s; Forty Five Ten, another Dallas retailer that had a cluster of small fashion, flower, tableware, art, gift shops and a tea room, and the Citarella Gourmet Market.
The vessel, a 15-story honeycomb-like sculpture to gaze at and climb 154 interconnected flights of stairs, remains “temporarily closed,” according to Hudson Yards officials. It has been the scene of four suicides but has been a major draw for the resort.
Now it looks like the mall is embracing a broader appeal, expanding its price range by adding new retailers and new food and beverage offerings, in many cases filling the vacant space, while retaining a luxury component. important, but with less dependency. There is 390,000 square feet of gross leasable space for retail and restaurants, a figure that excludes the former Neiman’s as well as the Tak Room and Kawi restaurants and other businesses that have closed and are being converted into offices. .
“Our F&B offer is becoming more accessible, more democratic. We will have a much better mid-priced food and beverage offering,” Hudson said. “It’s about determining who our customer is. Hudson Yards is not just a luxury center. We need to think about more than luxury — and we have the luxury offering. Now we will continue to develop bridge and contemporary offerings. »
The three-level, 180,000-square-foot former Neiman’s in the mall housed a boutique for Chanel, which may one day also return to Hudson Yards, but nothing is imminent. “We’ve had on-and-off discussions with Chanel,” Pohlen said.
“There is a lot of interest among luxury players. We just don’t have the space now,” Hudson added. With the addition of Vuitton, “our ground floor is fully rented”.
Elsewhere around the mall there is room for five to 10 additional retailers, depending on how the available floor space is allocated, although one luxury retailer will want to be on the ground floor.
According to Hudson, the mall is 92% leased.
“Generally, luxury tenants are producing twice as much volume concurrently as they did in 2019,” Hudson said. COVID-19 has reduced opening hours for many retailers.
He acknowledged that the center lacked food and drink and lacked quick service, take-out and healthy, organic food offerings. “We have doubled the fast service. Four new leases were signed. The fourth floor becomes an incredible food designation with unique names.
Coming soon: Kamasu by Kissaki, an omakase experience from chef Edgar Valerio and executive chef Mark Garcia; Ana’s Wine; Companion barber; Calzedonia, an Italian company specializing in swimwear, tights and leggings, and Intimissimi, an Italian clothing brand owned by Calzedonia.
Food and beverage openings in the past 12 months included Jibs; Magnolia Bakery; the Ana bar and restaurant; naked tomato; Ladurée and Peakaboo.
Retail stores opened last year include Monica Rich Kosann, Venus and Fleur, Taft, Le Bella & Co., Levi’s, Messika, Marli and Herman Miller.
The Vuitton boutique is located on the first floor of The Shops at Hudson Yards, between Stuart Weitzman and Patek Philippe, and across the hall between Fendi and Kenzo.
Vuitton moved into the 6,500 square foot space previously occupied by The Conservatory. Officials at Hudson Yards and Vuitton declined to confirm square footage. The Conservatory moved to a smaller space in the mall, across from Tiffany & Co.
The Vuitton store showcases “a suite of Louis Vuitton businesses, including men’s and women’s accessories, fragrances, jewelry, leather goods, ready-to-wear, footwear, travel and watches,” it said. the company in a press release.
The store is designed with a facade of aluminum fins with a silver, wavy edge creating Louis Vuitton’s signature monogram flower – a first for the brand. It is completed with silver and bronze coating.
Inside, fine art and design drive the interior and its custom finishes.
Delicately hung in the men’s ready-to-wear section, a wall installation in mirrored steel with a cloudy effect by Paul Coudamy, an interdisciplinary architect based in Paris. A textile work by American artist Jen Pack, ‘Cleaving an Essential Wound’, adds a splash of color to the women’s shoe section.
The men’s shoe section is lined with mosaic-like enamel artwork by Brooklyn-based artist Christian Nguyen.
The interior decor includes many standout pieces, such as iconic chairs by Italian futurist Bruno Munari and presentation tables by French carpenter Pierre Chapo, adding a graceful handmade element. Pieces by the ceramist Roger Capron accentuate the device.
The store is stocked with Vuitton’s spring 2022 pre-collections for men and women, as well as new and classic styles. Several capsules will be launched, including Nigo and 2054, while on the women’s side, the Spring Cruise and the Spring Capsule featuring Monogram Denim will be available.
In high jewelry, LV Volt is displayed. It is a new graphic collection of unisex jewelry where the initials LV represent “a metaphor of movement and a symbol of energy”.
On the service side, on-site hot stamping is offered, allowing buyers to customize a variety of leather goods. A full perfume counter featuring perfumes and colognes from Louis Vuitton’s master perfumer, Jacques Cavallier-Belletrud, completes the presentation.
Louis Vuitton operates three other stand-alone locations as well as three in-store boutiques in New York.
Retail sources said Omicron had reduced the number of visitors to the mall, but traffic had recently improved. “The mall is definitely picking up, but it will take some time to recover,” said a mall retailer, who requested anonymity. “It hasn’t brought back as many office staff as hoped, but I imagine things will continue to improve when spring and summer roll around.”