By  on April 2, 2007

NEW YORK — Phase II of Chrystie Place, the highly touted mixed-use development on the Bowery — the city's largest Whole Foods opened there last week — has landed its first fashion tenant, Blue & Cream. The retailer, with stores in East Hampton and Southampton, N.Y., will open in September a 1,250-square-foot unit on East First Street and the corner of Bowery.

Blue & Cream is no stranger to the Lower East Side. Conceived by Jeff Goldstein, an entertainment impresario who produced Lindsay Lohan's 20th and 21st birthday celebrations, Blue & Cream sells men's street brands such as ALIFE, DQM, Married to the Mob and SSUR, which are sourced on the Lower East Side. "I used to joke that Blue & Cream was the Fresh Air Fund for Lower East Side designers," said Goldsmith, adding, "We also featured Trovata, Rag+Bone and Maharishi very early on. Together, under one roof, is a superfunky offering."

Women's labels such as 3.1 Phillip Lim, Charlotte Ron­son and Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent also share the roster. For the Bowery store, Goldsmith plans to add Alexander Wang, Jenny Kayne, L.A.M.B., Neil Sperling and Spurr, among others. "The challenge is identifying fresh, young designers to add to our existing mix," Goldstein said. He plans to introduce dresses, cashmere knits and coats for fall with price points above $750, which has been the ceiling until now for Jill Stuart dresses and tops.

The Chrystie Place project began in 2005 with Ava­lon Chrystie Place, a 15-story building of 361 luxury and middle-income apartments, and an 85,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market. Phase II, a nine-story building on the north side of East Houston Street, will have 206 rental apartments, a lounge, roof terrace and fitness center for residents, along with 20,000 square feet of retail space.

There's also a third phase, Extra Place, an alley on the north side of East First Street, which is intended to look like a slice of the Left Bank, with a pedestrian mall lined with interesting boutiques and cafes.

Williams Jackson Ewing, the retail consultant and leasing agent for the developer, AvalonBay Communities, is leasing eight stores in Phase II to fashion tenants. The stores range in size from 800 to 2,500 square feet. "You won't find many chains, and there may be some one-of-a-kind things," said Michael Ewing, a principal in WJE.Blue & Cream is indicative of the independent retail spirit WJE is seeking. The new Blue & Cream store is being designed as a gallery space in a nod to the transformation of the Bowery with the opening of the New Museum of Contemporary Art, which is expected later this year, Goldstein said.

Goldstein is planning future units for the Upper West Side; Las Vegas; Snowmass, Colo.; Palm Beach, Fla.; Newport Beach and Malibu, Calif., and Washington.

The Bowery, he said, is undergoing "a monumental transformation. This is my opportunity to be a part of redefining a historic neighborhood and at the same time take on the responsibility of maintaining the soul of the Bowery. There should be a sense of how the history of the neighborhood led to the revitalization of the arts scene. Our gallery project will showcase street art and graffiti art of the last 25 years alongside merchandise. We want to blur the lines between fashion and art at our Bowery location."

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