Howard Hughes Corp.’s plans for the Seaport District are starting to come into focus.
The developer of the Seaport District identified Scotch & Soda as the first fashion tenant. The retailer in 2017 will open a 1,500-square-foot store on the corner of Fulton and Front Streets.
Scotch & Soda is a growing brand. Ari Hoffman, chief executive officer, said Scotch & Soda plans to add two stores to the four units it operates in Manhattan and possibly open a second store in Brooklyn.
The Seaport District’s 365,000 square feet of retail, dining and entertainment will be housed in seven buildings, including Pier 17, which is under construction.
Pier 17, which has been conceptualized by SHoP Architects, will be the hub of the district, housing retail, restaurants and entertainment. Jean-Georges Vongerichten will open a previously announced restaurant on the ground floor of Pier 17. David Chang, chef and founder of the Momofuku Group, will unveil a new restaurant in the same building.
As is the case in neighborhoods on the cusp of gentrification, restaurants lead the way, tenanting the areas first, often followed by retail.
“We’re very excited that Scotch & Soda is going to be part of the fashion lineup,” said David Weinreb, ceo of Howard Hughes. “When you think of fashion, [Scotch & Soda] is not the first name you think of, but they’re very fresh. They’re a great example of how we’re refocusing the Seaport as a commercial hub.
“When you start putting together the pieces — the magic dust of David Chang’s Momofuku, if you will, and Jean-Georges and Ipic Theaters — with the distinctive fashion and retail, the Seaport District’s vibe starts to become visible,” Weinreb said.
“Scotch & Soda does a high-quality garment,” Weinreb added. “It’s very affordable and attracts a young consumer. You’ll see a wide variety of very distinctive, original and cutting-edge fashion.”
Asked whether any of the 10 of Tomorrow designers and executives chosen in 2015 by WWD, will be tenants at the redeveloped Seaport District, Weinreb said, “I don’t think there’s going to be any prejudice. We’re still talking to them and wouldn’t be surprised if some of them [incubator brands] end up in the offering. Well weave them in like Scotch & Soda. There will be a variety of offerings.”
The 10 of Tomorrow are: Baja East’s Scott Studenberg and John Targon; J.C. Penney’s ceo Marvin Ellison; Ana Khouri; Marco de Vincenzo; Just One Eye’s Paola Russo; Simone Rocha; Lee Savage; Hood by Air’s Shayne Oliver; Glossier’s Emily Weiss, and Code and Theory’s Dan Gardner and Brandon Ralph.
Hoffman said an uptown Scotch & Soda outpost “would certainly be a logical location. With two more stores we’d cover Manhattan. Building on the success of our Williamsburg store, we’re looking for a second possible location in Brooklyn. We’ve looked at Smith Street and DUMBO could be a possibility.”
Scotch & Soda this summer will expand its store on Bleecker Street and enlarge its corporate office in the Flatiron District. The brand presented its first New York Fashion Week show in February.
Hoffman said he looked at other downtown projects, but felt some were too commercial. There’s Brookfield Place, an urban mall with upscale tenants. Westfield World Trade Center’s retail offering will be unveiled in late summer.
“We wanted something that’s a little more authentic,” Hoffman said. “Most of us remember the South Street Seaport in its heyday. Hearing about its redevelopment, I could see an amazing opportunity.”
Hoffman said the Seaport is the oldest part of New York, with historic buildings and cobblestone streets, which “will draw an immense number of people — New Yorkers and tourists alike. I imagine that on the weekends people will want to hang out there and enjoy the views of Brooklyn Bridge. It’s old New York.”
Weinreb stressed that Howard Hughes is sensitive to the neighborhood’s historic roots. “Our focus from Day One was bringing New Yorkers back to the Seaport and we won’t have succeeded until we’ve done that,” he said.