NEW YORK — Today, retail in subway stations here consists mainly of newsstands. But imagine picking up some cosmetics, a new top and a gourmet takeout dinner before boarding the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s 1 train.
This story first appeared in the March 19, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
That’s what Turnstyle has in mind.
The project, planned for the subway station concourse at 59th Street-Columbus Circle, envisions a 30,000-square-foot underground shopping mall populated by beauty, fashion, accessories and food shops. There’s space for 30 shops, which will be divided into three categories: grab ’n’ go, retail stores and marketplace.
The concourse will be accessed by six entrances, including the Time Warner Center, the northeast corner of West 58th Street and Eighth Avenue, the northeast and northwest corners of West 57th Street and Eighth Avenue, the Hearst Tower and the southeast corner of West 57th Street and Eighth Avenue. The site is also in close proximity to Nordstrom’s impending New York flagship, which is slated to open in 2018.
The underground mall will be unveiled some time in 2015. Tenants have yet to be named.
Turnstyle is being spearheaded by Susan Fine, who, more than 20 years ago, conceived of and executed the redevelopment of Grand Central Terminal as director of real estate for the MTA.
The Turnstyle project is targeted at West Side residents and tourists; 90,000 commuters pass through the 59th Street-Columbus Circle concourse each day and 21 million people with an average annual income of $100,000 walk through the station each year, according to Turnstyle.
Fine reportedly hopes to do nothing less than change the nature of underground retailing and replicate the concept in other places.
Besides stores, Turnstyle will have a series of kiosks made of modular elements designed to be installed in other locations.
Turnstyle is poised to attract tourists from the Shops at Columbus Circle, where Thomas Pink, Stuart Weitzman and L.K. Bennett coexist with H&M, Sephora and C. Wonder, and school kids riding the subway home. The project sought varied retailers to appeal to all of its constituents. The shops plan to have a mix of local brands and some national chains.