When the MTA first decided to construct a new financial district Fulton Street station, few realized that this include 5 levels of commercial space for an intended, 300,000 customers daily. However, many today wonder how much merit was deserved by this $1.4 billion dollar Lower Manhattan transit project.
The financial district Fulton MTA train station could very well usher in a new era of Lower Manhattan shopping and a big boost for the redevelopment of this formerly tragic struck area. Questions of consumer demand for the retail offerings at the Fulton Street Transit station loom. While the resurgence of Lower Manhattan is a statistical reality, its buying power is almost purely theoretical.
In October 2011, The Metropolitan Transit Authority announced that the financial district Fulton Street Transit station will be operated by a private company, similar to the deal the Port Authority made with the Westfield Group at the WTC transit hub designed my Santiago Calatrava. And it seems with planned retail space at the World Trade Center Hub, World Financial Center and Pier 17 at South Street Seaport, the competition for retailers at the Fulton Street transit station.
However, proponents of the added retail space downtown argue that there is more than enough demand, especially from New Yorkers who work during the day in lower Manhattan and from tourists. As of now, shopping options downtown are extremely sparse.
But while designers and planners at the MTA decide how to market the spaces, their hopes for demand lay routed in the foot traffic generated by the commuters using the Fulton Transit Center on a daily basis. An RFP for master leasing and operations will be issued August 2nd.
Elizabeth Berger, president of the Downtown Alliance told the Wall Street Journal that “Many national retailers are waiting to see what happens at these centers. There will be more opportunities and interest.”
But as these timid retailers play it safe and wait to invest, we at Battery Park Blog root on the efforts of the MTA and Port Authority as New York City works to revitalize Lower Manhattan and create more jobs for New Yorkers