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joethefoodie

Essex Crossing, Essex St. Market, and More

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Curbed has a piece today on updated developments and/or theories for the new Essex Crossing Project, aka SPURA, or the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area, which had been its name for decades, as it languished as parking lots, vacant lots, rundown, falling apart tenements, etc. 

 

The Market Line, as it's called, will contain the new Essex Street Market (still run by the city), along with a food hall and other assorted stuff. It will span 3 buildings, on 3 blocks, connected via underground passages.

 

We're watching the first phase go up right across the street, (quickly, I might add) on Grand between Clinton and Suffolk Streets. It's anchor retail tenant (at 30,000 square feet or so) doesn't thrill me - Trader Joe's will be in that building. We were hoping for something like a Wegman's or Stu Leonard's, but the space wasn't big enough to support them.

 

In any event, when it's done, I'm hoping it will be pretty damn nice, and it's been a long time coming. Considering what those blocks have looked like for the 13 years we've lived down here, it can only be an improvement.

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I'm hoping that the vegetable markets that serve the people in the nearby projects can survive the changeover.,and be part of the market..They really have nowhere else to shop. Have you been to a Stew Leonard's lately ?...not a great idea.

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I'm hoping that the vegetable markets that serve the people in the nearby projects can survive the changeover.,and be part of the market..They really have nowhere else to shop. Have you been to a Stew Leonard's lately ?...not a great idea.

It's my understanding that the vendors currently in Essex Market will move into the new space. And Fine Fare isn't going anywhere.

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Yes, although I think it was somewhat more of a passage and less of a park in the last version I saw.

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I'm not seeing the Old Bialystoker Home in that rendering.

 

Yeah, that rendering is way north of where that is. Between Broome and Delancey.

 

And the "old bialy..." has been sold. But the building itself is landmarked. There's another building just north of the "old" on E Broadway that will come down. And there's a plot of land just south that was a "park" that will be built on. And if they want to go higher, that's part of our air rights.

 

I know I should look it up, but I wonder if the long-touted Lowline project is part of this?

No, it has nothing to do with it.

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The new Essex St. Market portion of the Market Line to be is open for biz.  And it's very nice inside, reminding me a little bit of some of the newer Euro markets I've seen.

 

Sure, the new butcher is gonna have a challenging time of it, charging double or more of what Luis might charge, all set up in his shiny new digs. And maybe some of his (the new guy's) product will be worth it - fingers crossed.

 

All the vendors I spoke with and congratulated seem elated to finally be settled in.

 

This is gonna be an interesting experiment.

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Sure, the new butcher is gonna have a challenging time of it, charging double or more of what Luis might charge, all set up in his shiny new digs.

That new butcher had me confused. Most of the prices were about right for higher-end meat, in that Fleischers/Dickson’s price point. For whipping up a bolognese I’ll go to Luis’, but if I’m making tartare or something it’s nice to have a place nearby with the requisite quality.

 

But there were some crazy outliers... $18/lb chicken breast? If that wasn’t a typo, that chicken better’ve been fed fucking Perigord truffles.

 

Talked to Lu at Nordic Fish & Game. They’re getting a beer & wine license and will be setting up a counter to serve small plates at... maybe a cured fish omakase or something too.

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Sure, the new butcher is gonna have a challenging time of it, charging double or more of what Luis might charge, all set up in his shiny new digs.

That new butcher had me confused. Most of the prices were about right for higher-end meat, in that Fleischers/Dickson’s price point. For whipping up a bolognese I’ll go to Luis’, but if I’m making tartare or something it’s nice to have a place nearby with the requisite quality.

 

But there were some crazy outliers... $18/lb chicken breast? If that wasn’t a typo, that chicken better’ve been fed fucking Perigord truffles.

 

Talked to Lu at Nordic Fish & Game. They’re getting a beer & wine license and will be setting up a counter to serve small plates at... maybe a cured fish omakase or something too.

 

Agree totally (re: butcher) and I saw that chicken breast - oy.  But did you happen to notice a price for whole birds?

 

Top Hops has a nice little counter too.  Gonna take a while to really get settled, and I imagine the bulk of their business will be on weekends.

 

Don't you wish for a great greengrocer, actually peddling some local produce? Or does green market NYC make sure no one gets that, to remain the only game in town for that?

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It’s beautiful. It raises so many questions. My main fear is that it turns into Chelsea Markets, a sardine can of tourists gaping and lollygagging.

 

The butcher point can be generalized. Will the new crowds it will bring patronize Luis and not the hipster stand (oh they have the moustaches and the hats)? Imagine raising prices to compete? A restaurateur once told me he couldn’t put wines on his menu at $8 a glass no matter how good, they were too cheap.

 

If the existing Essex Market customers shy away from the tourist crowds, will Luis still be able to sell goat and tripe? Will the produce stands still sell the same range of ingredients needed for Latino cuisine?

 

On the other hand, the guy at Formaggio demonstrates the benefits by standing up and waving his arms around. “I couldn’t do that before. And we can sell more cheeses.”

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Don't you wish for a great greengrocer, actually peddling some local produce? Or does green market NYC make sure no one gets that, to remain the only game in town for that?

For basics I’m fine with - I think it’s Essex Farm, the Korean one? And there’s always Union Market or WF if I want my kale to have a pedigree.

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