By  on May 4, 2009

NEW YORK — The Standard Hotel pierces the sky over Washington Street, towering over older and smaller neighboring buildings below. André Balazs’ stylish venue, now in soft-opening mode, is but one ambitious undertaking to be fully realized in the Meatpacking District. Other long-awaited projects coming closer to fruition include the Whitney Museum of American Art’s downtown outpost and the High Line, an abandoned elevated freight railroad that’s being converted to a public park stretching from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street.

While other areas of Manhattan are struggling, the developments in the Meatpacking District show there continues to be demand in the hottest neighborhoods for retail and commercial space despite the ongoing recession. In the region bordered by West 14th Street to the north, Gansevoort Street to the south, Ninth Avenue to the east, and West Street to the west, former meatpacking facilities are being turned into sleek retail spaces, and mixed-use buildings are rising. Hugo Boss, Matthew Williamson and Tory Burch have all opened new stores. Bistro Bagatelle, with an alumnus of Alain Ducasse and Daniel overseeing the sauces, bowed last year, along with Marcus Samuelsson’s Merkato 55.

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