January 24, 2013 at 13:27 PM EST
Eataly-like market eyed for prime downtown spot
The operator of the Financier chain of coffee shops, the downtown restaurant Harry's Cafe and Steak, and several other eateries is close to signing a multi-million dollar deal to open a large food market at the World Financial Center overlooking the Hudson River downtown. The deal is one of the lynchpins in a $250 million effort by the property's landlord, Brookfield Office Properties, to remake the 8-million-square-foot, four-building complex's 200,000 square feet of retail space. Restaurateur Peter Poulakakos will open a 25,000-square-foot food market at the property, a source involved in the deal said. The market will boast several food counters selling a host of goods from gourmet cheeses and meats, to prepared foods. Brookfield is betting it can echo the success of venues like Eataly in the flatiron district and the Grand Central Market, which both became culinary sensations that drew tourists, neighborhood residents and workers alike. In addition to operating Financier and Harry's, Mr. Poulakakos has tackled other large deals in lower Manhattan recently. In 2011, he won the right to develop an $18 million oyster bar and catering hall on Pier A in Battery Park City. Work on that project began last year. The new market will anchor a large new food component to World Financial Center that will also feature a dining court served by over a dozen food stations operated by a collection of what Brookfield has promised will be well-known local restaurateurs. This fall, when the revamp is completed and a new entrance to the complex opens on West Street, the complex's name will be changed to Brookfield Place. The landlord has been keen to redevelop the retail acreage at the complex to better compete with the nearly 400,000 square feet of brand-new retail space that is being built at the World Trade Center just across West Street. Brookfield has also seen the opportunity to create an amenity that can help it attract office tenants to the millions of square feet of vacant office space upstairs in the complex. The company has said it also wants to cater to downtown's growing residential population.
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