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Hip Meatpacking District Realtors Are Looking "Fashion Forward"

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There is a new trend of fashion designers looking to set up shop in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan. NY1's Jill Urban filed the following report.

The Meatpacking District in Lower Manhattan is a hot, hip neighborhood known for its cool vibe and happening nightlife, but something new is now happening in the neighborhood. As more design houses move away from Midtown, it seems the Meatpacking District is slowly becoming the city's newest fashion district.

"We are starting to see a trend with the fashion companies having their headquarters and their flagship stores on the ground," says Michael Phillips, the CEO of Jamestown Properties. "We have Tod's at MILK Studio, we have Armani moving and that, with Diane von Furstenberg, you really start to have this core focus on the business side of fashion as well as the retail side."

Over the last few years, the area has seen several high-end trendy boutiques set up shop, but now more fashion houses are looking for all-in-one company headquarters with corporate offices, showrooms and a flagship store.

Developers are responding to the trend by creating new buildings designed to accommodate this type of tenant.

"A lot of developers are looking at the market and are saying, 'If I could take my building and improve it and make it a small home and a jewel for the right company, it will be even better for the neighborhood and better for their real estate position," says Paul Pariser, a co-CEO of Taconic Investment Partners.

At 837 Washington Street, for example, Taconic Investment Partners and Thor Equities will turn the site into a 55,000-square-feet twisted metal and glass building that can offer a tenant a unique branding opportunity in a hotspot area.

Jamestown Properties will turn the loading dock at MILK Studios on 14th Street into a retail space that could be used as a flagship store for an office tenant upstairs. That will connect to a new two-story retail complex expected to go up at the site of the old gas station on 10th Avenue.

"It's become branded over the years as a cool fashion district and I think what will happen is it will become more established in that and there will be many more brand names hitting the streets," says Pariser.

So it looks like this evolving area is certainly in store for some new "fashion forward" development.

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