New Faces, Openings and Events for a New Year
Happy New Year from Union Square! 2017 closed out with a slew of new business openings and the arrival of new community leaders, as well as USP Board Members and staff. With a packed schedule of Union Square Partnership sponsored events already on the books for 2018, we're revving up for an exciting year ahead in the Square.
New and Familiar Faces
In 2017, we welcomed several new and familiar faces to leadership roles in the neighborhood. In November, Carlina Rivera was elected as the New York City Councilmember for District 2. Rivera is a lifelong resident of the Lower East Side and is a strong advocate for small business preservation, affordable housing, community resiliency planning, and more. USP had the pleasure of working with Carlina in her previous role as Legislative Director for outgoing Councilmember Rosie Mendez, and we look forward to partnering together as Carlina steps into her new role in 2018.
Earlier in the year, Suzanne Appel joined the Vineyard Theatre as its new Managing Director. For its 35th Season, the Vineyard launched with Harry Clarke starring Billy Crudup, earning the distinction as a New York Times' Critics Pick. In 2018, prepare to experience the world premiere of The Amateurs, The Beast in the Jungle, and the LAB production This Land Was Made as the anniversary season continues.
Experiential Retail, Innovative Eateries, and New Community Services
With over 40 new business openings in 2017, it's clear that restaurateurs, entrepreneurs, international brands, and established institutions continue to setup shop in Union Square, bringing new experiences and piloting new concepts.
64 percent of new storefront openings in 2017 were in the food sector, with most as fast-casual eateries. Renowned chefs, such as Danny Meyer, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and David Cheng, launched new restaurant concepts in the greater Union Square district, such as:
- Daily Provisions, your all-day go-to cafe for coffee, wine, beer, breakfast, lunch and dinner, and even Seattle's favorite ice cream. The new eatery a Danny Meyer creation and sister to his Union Square Cafe. It was just voted by Eater NY readers as New York's best new all-day restaurant.
- ABCV, the first vegetable-focused creation from Vongerichten, complete with a to-go bar for breakfast, lunch and coffee.
- MAKE Sandwich, a new concept from the creators of Melt Shop. This grab-and-go eatery is in good fast-casual company on 4th Avenue, alongside PokeSpot, CAVA, and Dos Toros.
- Ando, which premiered this year as a delivery-focused restaurant from David Cheng. The restaurant debuted its first storefront to expand operations beyond delivery to serve customers downtown.
Businesses are increasingly providing their customers with unique experiences to build brand loyalty, test out new products, and encourage repeat visits. Buying a new outfit or gadget has never been so exciting!
- American Eagle opened its first AE Studio on Union Square West complete with laundry access for students, among other activities like distressing and patching your jeans, and pop-up experiences on the weekends.
- Kellogg's NYC, after a successful pop-up in Times Square, debuted its 2,000 sq foot Union Square space complete with a DIY cereal bar, free Wi-Fi, 65" TVs, card and board games, and an Instagram station for photo styling.
- Made By Google opened a Pop Up Store with interactive exhibits like a snow globe foam pit and a hot chocolate cart where you can print your selfie on a marshmallow, all showcasing new products like the Pixel 2 (open from October - December).
Growing Community Institutions
Over the past year, several Union Square institutions expanded their footprint and offered new services to the local community. Key developments include:
- GrowNYC opened Project Farmhouse, its own permanent space in Union Square. The state-of-the-art sustainability center is a green event and educational space, equipped with an open kitchen, plant walls, and open event space.
- Mount Sinai Health System cut the ribbon on their new full-service Urgent Care Center on Union Square East, offering quick services with the same high level of Mount Sinai care. The center comes after the completion of facade improvements to Mount Sinai's exterior.
2018 at Union Square Partnership
Mark your calendars! We can't wait to see you this year in Union Square at our community programs.
- Union Square Sweat Fest, February 8th - 13th: Join us for our ticketed health and wellness festival to explore the latest in our neighborhood's fitness scene.
- It's My Park! Day, June 2nd: Spend your morning with our team in Union Square Park with learning, cleaning, and fun for the whole family.
- Summer in the Square, June 14th - August 9th: Spend your summer Thursday's in Union Square Park with 9 weeks full of activities for all ages.
- 23rd Annual Harvest in the Square, September 20th: Taste signature dishes from over 50 Union Square restaurants paired with New York wineries, breweries, and distilleries as we raise funds for Union Square Park.
In our community the USP family is growing with new members joining our Board of Directors as well as welcoming two new faces to the USP internal team.
Joining the 2017-2018 Board of Directors is:
- Suzanne Appel, Managing Director of the Vineyard Theatre
- Ed Baten, General Manager of W New York - Union Square
- Herbert Streng, Vice President of Finance & Development at ORDA Management
- Brendan Zanetti, Metro Marketing Leader for Whole Foods Union Square.
New staff members include Director of Economic Development Monica Munn and Marketing + Special Projects Associate D'Arcy Sampson.
Working together with our community partners, we're looking forward to a productive 2018 in Union Square!