In a couple years, New Yorkers who want to discover unique food from around world won’t need a search engine. Anthony Bourdain will open a “food hall” in the abandoned Pier 57 on the Chelsea River in New York City. Google will be the anchor tenant the $350-million redevelopment project.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the state’s approval of the project earlier today. Renamed “SuperPier” by developers Youngwoo & Associates and RXR Realty in 2013, the project has been designed as a 480,000-square-foot retail complex complete with shops and clubs made out of shipping containers. Pier 57 has largely been unused since 2004.
In September, the host of CNN’s No Reservations confirmed he subleased the main concourse and mezzanine of the SuperPier for his 150,000-square-foot Bourdain Market. Back in April, Bourdain’s business partner Stephen Werther described the market as including “a farmers market with an oyster bar, bakery, tapas bar” among a vast array of other options, according to Eater NY. In a New York Times profile about Bourdain Market, details emerged that the market would include 100 temporary and permanent retail and wholesale food vendors from across the world.
Bourdain Market has been described as a “food hall” and “food market” but never a food court. From a cultural standpoint, Bourdain stated in his Times interview “the beating heart and soul” of the market is an open-air complex similar to the hawker markets in Singapore, where there are communal eating spaces encircled by food vendors from across the world. Logistically, Madelyn Wils, the president of the Hudson River Park Trust that oversees the use of Pier 57, stated “there would be no mall, no food court” as part of the redevelopment project and describes Bourdain Market as “a true public market in New York,” in a recent interview.
The ambitious project is not without its setbacks. The project was slated to be completed by the end of 2015 but won’t be ready for another two years. One challenge, said Werther, is securing the numerous visas required to transport the overseas vendors. In regards to the overall SuperPier project, construction will start in summer 2017, with an expected early 2018 opening, Realty Today reported in November.
The SuperPier will also include an 80,000-square-foot public park on the Pier’s roof and will become the new outdoor location for the Tribeca Film Festival. With Google expected to lease 250,000 square feet of the complex, literally, on top of Bourdain’s market, the 480,000 square-foot SuperPier will largely be Bourdain’s and Google’s cultural oasis by the sea.
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