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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)

Carter's View

An article by Dan Mangan in today's edition of The New York Post reported that the Plaza Hotel is opening a 160,000-square-foot Plaza Retail Collection underground shopping concourse.

The article quoted Tony Nicola, the hotel's general manager, as stating that the new 60,000 "Grand Concourse" retail spaces will appeal to "the person who is shopping at Barney's and shopping at Bergdorf's," adding that "we're looking to become part of that circuit."

Eight boutiques, including The Plaza Beauty by Warren-Tricomi hair and beauty salon, and Peter Lik Fine Art Photography, are already open at The Plaza's Grand Concourse, and another 12 are expected to open within the next two weeks.

Mr. Nicola told The Post that 92 percent of the concourse space was already leased and that there eventually be up to 35 boutiques there, including a large fitness center and food area.

Veteran New Yorkers, of course, will remember with great fondness that part of the underground spaces were formerly occupied by a delightful small movie theater and Trader Vic's, the great Hawaiian restaurant that had moved from the Savoy Hilton Hotel across Fifth Avenue when that grand hotel was replaced with the General Motors Building.

The Post article noted that "Before the 101-year-old Plaza underwent a $400 million renovation that turned it into a combination of hotel rooms and condos, the downstairs concourse area housed decidedly unglamorous utility, kitchen and laundry spaces."

The article quoted Mr. Nicola as stating that although "The Plaza's hotel customers and residents were projected to make up about 35 percent of the boutiques' clientele, 'we're really looking to the New York shopper and visitor' to come in from off the street and provide the bulk of purchases."

An item about the "mall" today at Curbed.com asked whether the famous hotel can "become a successful high-end shopping mall?" "Sure, it may not be the best economic climate to launch such an ambitious task - and there's already the Time Warner Center to satisfy mallrat cravings - but the Plaza has the name brand and the Fifth Avenue location."

A rendering of the new project, which will be located at 3120 Las Vegas Boulevard in South Las Vegas, appears above. It is being developed by El-Ad Properties and the IDB Group. It will have about 3,500 hotel rooms, 1 million square feet of The Plaza Retail Collection plus a casino and conference and meeting rooms. Completion is anticipated for 2012.
Architecture Critic Carter Horsley Since 1997, Carter B. Horsley has been the editorial director of CityRealty. He began his journalistic career at The New York Times in 1961 where he spent 26 years as a reporter specializing in real estate & architectural news. In 1987, he became the architecture critic and real estate editor of The New York Post.
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