Along with its glassy towers on the rise and big-name corporations leasing office space, the Hudson Yards district is now displaying another show of how the mega-development is pushing the once-desolate Midtown West area forward–the announcement of a 60,000-square-foot Whole Foods. The green grocer will move into Brookfield Property’s eight-acre Manhattan West complex, located at 5 Manhattan West on the corner of 10th Avenue and West 31st Street, directly across from Related’s Hudson Yards. Echoing the sentiment of the “Whole Foods effect“–the pattern of real estate values increasing when high-end grocery stores open nearby, both due to convenience and prestige–a press release from the developer says the news “is a significant first step in creating a first-of-its-kind global retail hub at Manhattan West.”
Downtown Brooklyn is quickly becoming one of NYC’s most desirable commercial hubs. On top of hosting a lengthy roster of big name retailers and entertainment centers—which include a new Target, Trader Joe’s, Century 21, Apple store, Alamo Drafthouse cinema, and Barclays Center—the neighborhood will also welcome a brand new, lower-priced Whole Foods concept store called “365.” According to a press release, the store will open in early 2018 at Two Trees’ 300 Ashland Place, and be set up as a no-frills version of the grocery giant.
An important must-have when apartment hunting often involves the presence of a grocery store within a few blocks. A local food market, regardless of how harsh its fluorescent lighting or how narrow its aisles, is often the key to feeling part of civilization, especially when you’ve run out of milk for breakfast. The familiar branches of local chains–from Key Food to D’Agostino to the corner deli–are closing down across the city, in some cases leaving New Yorkers in something of a “grocery desert” surrounded by restaurants but without access to fresh ingredients and emergency baby supplies. According to the New York Times, the landscape is definitely shifting: Between 2005 and 2015, about 300, or eight percent, of the city’s greengrocers–defined as “family-owned stores of less than about 7,000 square feet”–closed up shop and left the neighborhood.
A rendering of the new Harlem Whole Foods
6sqft has previously written about the Whole Foods Effect–the pattern of real estate values increasing when a new grocery store opens nearby. In fact, national data from Yahoo! Finance showed that “homes with a Whole Foods in the ZIP code appreciated by nearly 34 percent.” And here in New York, the Effect seems to be taking hold in Harlem, where a Whole Foods will open next year at 125th Street and Lenox Avenue in a six-story commercial building spanning over 200,000 square feet (other tenants will include Burlington Coat Factory, Nordstrom Rack, Olive Garden and TD Bank).
Citi Habitats agent Chyann Sapp told the Post that “there’s a one-bedroom two blocks away for $1,800. And the owner said that once Whole Foods opens he thinks he could easily get $2,000, $2,100 for it.” The store was first announced in 2012, at which time the area’s price per square foot was $594, according to appraisal firm Miller Samuel. As of 2015, it had risen to $839. Similarly, townhouse prices have doubled from $2 million to $4 million in this time.
Fairway Market, considered by many the quintessential New York City supermarket, filed for bankruptcy yesterday, citing competition from “natural, organic and prepared food rivals” and “online ordering and home delivery services,” according to the Wall Street Journal. Perhaps their biggest threats are Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, which both seem to be in a very different boat. Yahoo! Finance looked at data of four million homes in the U.S. that are located in a zip code with either one of these stores, “finding that average property values in a ZIP code with Trader Joe’s appreciated by about 40 percent since they were purchased, while homes with a Whole Foods in the ZIP code appreciated by nearly 34 percent.”
The reasoning is quite simple — people will pay a premium for the convenience of being near their favorite stores. And proximity to a store like Whole Foods, often thought of as more high-end than other grocery stores, adds an air of prestige to a neighborhood. But the science behind it is a bit of a chicken or the egg situation — does a retailer directly affect home values, or are these companies able to identify locations where they’ll generate the most interest?
- Keith Haring’s six-story Statue of Liberty mural is going up for auction. [NYP]
- Turns out there is some validity to the “Whole Paycheck” nickname for Whole Foods. The grocery store has been overcharging for pre-packaged foods. [Gothamist]
- Past and present: Manhattan Beach’s “Apartcot” bungalow colony. [Brownstoner]
- According to an interview with real estate investor Aby Rosen, when Jay Maisel moved out of 190 Bowery, he left behind a 26-year collection of Playboy and Hustler magazines, as well as a collection of 5,000 screwdrivers, all lined up. [New Yorker]
- The creator of the pink plastic lawn flamingo has passed away at age 79. [Guardian]
Images: Whole Foods (L); 190 Bowery (R)
Last week, we learned that Whole Foods is planning to open a cheaper chain of stores, targeting millennials and vying to compete with other affordable stores like Trader Joes. And today, the internet is abuzz with the news that a Wegmans grocery store is coming to the Brooklyn Navy Yards. This northeast chain is popular for its huge selection of prepared foods, discount wine, and combination of BOTH traditional grocery store items and organic products a la Whole Foods. With all of these new options that aren’t going to use up your “whole paycheck” in the pipeline, what do you foresee for the future of Whole Foods in New York?
- Here’s how to celebrate the Year of the Ram around Chinatown. [Bowery Boogie]
- And here’s how to celebrate in Queens. [DNAinfo]
- A Mad Men exhibit is coming to the Museum of the Moving Image. [Gothamist]
- The much-anticipated Upper East Side Whole Foods opens today. Expect lots of free samples. [DNAinfo]
- Bald eagles have been wintering in NYC for the past ten years, and this year they’re on Staten Island. [Animal]
You don’t have to tell us twice that the Upper East Side is trading its reputation as a stodgy, ladies-who-lunch spot for a younger, more hip vibe. Not only do we think it’s a hidden hot spot for artists, but we recently profiled the unofficial “new” Upper East Side, the high 80s and 90s, clustered between Park and 1st Avenues. And let’s not forget how the Second Avenue subway is already shaking things up.
But with a new generation of Upper East Siders gobbling up the surprisingly affordable real estate offerings, it’s no surprise that trendy commercial spots are also getting in on the action. Small, local shops and restaurants create little communities that you might expect to find in brownstone Brooklyn, and larger, big-name businesses like Warby Parker and Whole Foods promise to make it a neighborhood to rival Union Square or Chelsea.
Your Daily Link Fix: Downtown Manhattan’s Mini Beach Is Here; 2nd Ave Subway Line: Can’t Live With It, Can’t Live Without It, Thu, July 17, 2014
- Downtown Manhattan’s Mini Beach: The wifi rigged beach in Downtown Manhattan is here and Bedford and Bowery is already posting from it.
- Send Texts Without Service: Engadget gives us the scoop on a new device that will keep you from being stranded without cell service.
- Stylish Lemonade Stands: This one’s for the kiddies. It’s a hot summer day and your kids want to get their entrepreneurial skills on. Well, if they’re gonna charge insane amounts for 4 ounces of lemonade, they may as well look good doing it. Apartment Therapy has some great ideas for your kids to dress up their storefront.
- Brooklyn Whole Foods Jumps on the Cargo Bike Bandwagon: According to Treehugger it’s no longer just families who are embracing the car-free transportation. The Whole Foods store plans to start using the bikes for deliveries.
- 2nd Ave Subway Line: Can’t Live With It, Can’t Live Without It: Citylab discusses why the elusive and cost intensive line is worth the effort.
Images: Daniel Maurer at Downtown Manhattan’s Mini Beach (left), 2nd Ave Subway Line Construction (right)