NEW YORK — The Fashion Center Business Improvement District and the Times Square Alliance are trying to dress up Eighth Avenue with Blank SL8, a street-front Port Authority space that will spotlight New York-based fashion, design and visual arts created by New York-based artists and designers.

This story first appeared in the March 23, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Emerging talents’ work will be showcased on a rotating basis in the 2,500-square-foot venue. Located on the northwest corner of Eighth Avenue and West 41st Street, Blank SL8 is a prime spot for catching the attention of passersby, including the 200,000 commuters who trek through the Port Authority each day.

Representatives from IMG Fashion, the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund and Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation have already scouted the location for fashion shows or to be used as designer showcases. Blank SL8 could also act as a “village green” of sorts, allowing awards groups to display oversized colorful posters of the respective winners with a sampling of their creations, according to Barbara Randall, director of the FCBID.

The idea of having a pop-up shop for Made in NYC products is also being entertained, Randall said. Yeohlee Teng, whose Made in NYC clothes are currently in Lord & Taylor’s Fifth Avenue windows, said she will check out the Port Authority space this week.

Blank SL8’s main objective is to promote design talent working in the Garment Center or the Times Square area. Aside from the expense of utilities, the temporary tenants will pay only $1 monthly rent for their stays of a month or two.

“The idea is to have people show their work for a very small cost,” Randall said. “We thought it was a great opportunity to do something altruistic for the design community.”

The groups expect the project to help spruce up Eighth Avenue to make it more appealing to pedestrians and to further its new Avenue of Architecture moniker.