Over the last several years, the neighbourhood has experienced a renaissance with new hotels, shopping options, celebrity chef-owned restaurants and attraction openings
As the15th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, NYC & Company, New York City’s official destination marketing organisation, is inviting visitors to discover a newly envisioned Lower Manhattan. Over the last several years, the neighbourhood has experienced a renaissance with new hotels, shopping options, celebrity chef-owned restaurants and attraction openings. A prime destination for tourism, Lower Manhattan is witnessing developments, from the opening of Four Seasons New York Downtown next month to the debut of the Westfield World Trade Center shopping complex.
“Lower Manhattan’s revitalisation over the last 15 years is a cornerstone of the ‘new’ New York City. With tourism reaching record levels in New York City, visitors and locals have more choices to explore, shop, stay and dine than ever before in this newly re-imagined downtown neighborhood,” said Fred Dixon, president and CEO, NYC & Company.
Leisure or business travel, visitors can find a variety of new hotel options throughout the neighbourhood. Historic Victorian architecture will meet modern luxury at The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel. The hotel features 287 rooms, including penthouse suites and a nine-story glass atrium. The Four Seasons New York Downtown, which will open late September, will feature 189 rooms and suites, situated a block away from the World Trade Center. The hotel will include an urban spa, as well as a new restaurant, CUT by Wolfgang Puck.
Business travellers and families looking for extra space can relax at the newly opened AKA Wall Street, complete with 132 fully furnished extended-stay apartments, or the all-suite Conrad New York, featuring 463 luxury suites overlooking the Hudson River.
Fulton Center offers a variety of handcrafted products from retailers such as NYS Collection, Moleskine and Tiecoon. Along the Hudson River waterfront, Brookfield Place, which opened in 2015, is home to contemporary luxury brands such as Diane von Furstenberg, Michael Kors, Lululemon and an 85,000-square-feet Saks Fifth Avenue opening next month. The US$ 1.4 billion Westfield World Trade Center shopping complex has recently opened with around 60 stores, and 40 more stores opening by the end of the year to occupy the 365,000 sq ft of retail space. Shops that have opened so far include Apple, Under Armour, Kate Spade and Lacoste.
World-renowned chefs, new concepts and outposts of the city’s best restaurants are some of the new culinary experiences to be found in Lower Manhattan. At Brookfield Place, visitors can browse through a French-inspired market at Le District, featuring three restaurants and four districts selling meats, cheeses, breads and more. Upstairs from Le District is Hudson Eats, serving popular dishes from city mainstays including Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque and Num Pang sandwich shop. Another city mainstay, Shake Shack, has recently opened at Fulton Center.
The new Eataly NYC Downtown Italian marketplace debuted at 4 World Trade Center this month and features tastings, a sit-down Southern Italian restaurant, bread bakery, Italian coffee bar and several to-go options. Pier A Harbor House, which opened last year in Battery Park, is an old immigration hall turned into a restaurant and beer hall, featuring fresh seafood and private event space with views of the Statue of Liberty.
Wolfgang Puck will open his steakhouse, CUT by Wolfgang Puck, next month at the Four Seasons New York Downtown, his first restaurant in the city. At The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel, acclaimed chef Tom Colicchio will open his signature Fowler &Wells restaurant, along with restaurateur Keith McNally and his Brasserie-style restaurant Augustine, on August 23. Celebrity chef John-Georges Vongerichten plans to debut a food hall-style fish market and restaurant in Pier 17 at South Street Seaport in 2017. Additionally, David Chang is planning a new concept at the same location.
For views of Lower Manhattan, visitors can grab a signature Prosecco & Ice Pop cocktail atop The Conrad New York’s Loop Doopy Rooftop Bar (open seasonally).
Attractions and culture
Visitors to Lower Manhattan can find a new hub of culture and attractions throughout the neighbourhood. The crown jewel of the area’s redevelopment is the 1,776-feet One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and home to One World Observatory, opened in May 2015. To honour the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum will open a new exhibit, Rendering the Unthinkable: Artists Respond to 9/11 on September 12, 2016.
In spring 2015, the aqua-themed SeaGlass Carousel opened at Battery Park, as well as the expansion of the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration in New York Harbor. South Street Seaport is currently going through a transformation with a new iPic luxury cinema opening on October 7 this year, the reopening of the South Street Seaport Museum earlier this winter and 300,000 sq ft of new retail space opening next year.
Just a ferry ride away from Lower Manhattan, Governors Island completed its transformation this summer into a cultural and educational hub with the opening of The Hills, four man-made hills that provide views of the skyline, featuring the tallest slide in the city.
To support the new development efforts in Lower Manhattan, there have been several enhancements to the neighbourhood’s transportation infrastructure. Fulton Center, which debuted in November 2014, is a retail and transportation hub that connects to nine MTA subway lines and five subway stations for more than 300,000 riders. In October 2015, Mayor De Blasio announced that the free Staten Island Ferry service will run at least every 30 minutes, seven days a week between Lower Manhattan and Staten Island.
The World Trade Center Transportation Hub, which was completed in May, connects visitors to 11 subway lines, PATH trains to New Jersey, Battery Park City Ferry Terminal, Brookfield Place and the World Trade Center complex. The hub creates an underground connection that stretches between Brookfield Place and Fulton Center. This transportation hub is housed under the Santiago Calatrava-designed Oculus, serving 200,000 daily commuters and home to the Westfield World Trade Center shopping complex.