Sylvie Ganter, founder of perfume house Atelier Cologne, remembers reading a magazine article two years ago Point on the construction of the Hudson Yards neighborhood.

At the time, she was far from suspecting that her small business would open a store in this huge real estate complex that promises to transform West Manhattan. This will be the case. The entrepreneur will open the third Atelier Cologne New York during the official opening of the neighborhood to the public on Friday, March 15. "We have always reasoned by neighborhoods for our openings, she says. Hudson Yards is the opportunity to be part of a new neighborhood. Seeing one build oneself is magical", she says.

Atelier Cologne found itself in the adventure thanks to its parent company, L'Oréal, whose headquarters are located in one of the Hudson Yards towers that opened in 2016. This neighborhood, a sort of "city in the city" "Located between 30th Street and 34th Street and 10th and 12th Avenue, will cover an area of ​​1.7 million square meters. Presented as the largest real estate development in New York since the construction of the Rockefeller Center in the 1980s, it will eventually house commercial and residential towers, a cultural center called The Shed, a school and green spaces.

At the heart of this "new West Side", as the promo nickname, rises already-The-Vessel, a tangled staircase structure facing the Hudson River. It is located opposite a shopping center soberly called "The Shops and Restaurants", where a dozen French shops will open their doors on Friday. In addition to Atelier Cologne, customers will find the Cartier jeweler, the men's ready-to-wear brand Cremieux, Dior, Kenzo, Louis Vuitton, Van Cleef & Arpels and Vilebrequin. Swiss luxury will be well represented too, with some illustrious names like Piaget, Patek Philippe and Rolex. Rudsak, Montreal brand of coats, will also be there.

As far as food is concerned, Bouchon Bakery, owned by American chef Thomas Keller, will be welcoming its customers on Friday, March 15th. Maison Kayser, from French bakery Eric Kayser, will open this summer at 55 Hudson Yards, an office tower near the High Line.

In total, more than 100 stores and restaurants will occupy the seven-level shopping center. "It will be the only shopping center in the United States where all the stores will put forward their new concepts ", summarizes Stéphane Cremieux, CEO of Cremieux.

The map of Hudson Yards / Hudson Yards New York

Yet the French boss was not a convert from the first hour. When he was proposed to join the adventure five years ago, he started by saying "no". "I felt like it was going to be a second Brookfield Place (South Manhattan Mall). I did not like it, he recalls. Then I realized that opening to Hudson Yards was a way of disassociating myself from the rest. Above all, retail is suffering right now, including in SoHo and the Upper East Side, where vacant spaces are multiplying". He signed the contract last year.

The contractor, whose only New York store will be located at Hudson Yards, did not wish to indicate whether discounts or other incentives had been offered to merchants – "a confidentiality document has been signed on the prices". Same discretion at Bouchon Bakery. The French bakery brand has been associated with Hudson Yards because of the friendship between Chief Keller and Kenneth Himmel, the CEO of Related Companies. This real estate company in charge of developing the Hudson Yards retail offer participated in the creation of the Time Warner Center in Columbus Circle, where Bouchon has a point of sale.

At Hudson Yards, Bouchon will have a 40-seat bakery, with a bay window to watch bakers prepare bread and pastries. "I think Hudson Yards will move the center of Manhattan to the west, advance Guillaume Chamot-Rooke, director of retail operations at the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group. It's going to be a culinary, cultural and commercial destination with brands that can not be found anywhere else in New York. "

For him, a question remains: who will use his new bakery. "There will be many people from the start. It will be a mix of everything: a clientele attracted by luxury brands, tourists, office workers"He observes.

"If I knew it, I would say it, slides Stéphane Cremieux as for the profile of his future customers. We will discover it as and when. The development will evolve with the construction of towers around. We can not wait to see the first traffic this weekend".

The Hudson Yards that the public will discover on Friday, March 15 is only half done. The new neighborhood is expected to expand in the coming years from the 11th Avenue – the current border to the west – to the 12th, above the railway garage where the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) trains currently sleep.

Sylvie Ganter is counting on local residents and tourists on the nearby High Line. "This will get them to walk further than until now, she says. Will Hudson Yards become a new luxury destination in New York? I'm curious to see him".


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