New York City is one of the largest and most important global fashion and art hubs in the world. The Big Apple is a big place, though, and popping up can be a daunting process in this bustling and diverse city. It’s critical for brands and artists to decide on the right location for a time-sensitive, temporary pop up store.
After much research, exploration, and experience, here’s a list of the 5 best NYC neighborhoods to pop up in: SoHo, Nolita, Williamsburg, Chelsea and Flatiron.
SoHo, a once-bohemian neighborhood, is now one of Manhattan’s most exclusive and diverse shopping districts. Modern brands have transformed what were once factories into ritzy storefronts, molding SoHo into an extremely fashionable and sought-after retail neighborhood. From luxury brands like Alexander Wang to chain favorites like J. Crew, SoHo is full of premium storefront locations — if you can afford premium prices.
Nolita is mellower than SoHo, offering more affordable real estate than SoHo while still being packed with unique, independent retail brands. It serves as another hub for artists and galleries boasting both the International Center of Photography and the New Museum. With its friendly and fashionable vibes, budget-friendly storefronts, and prime window-shopping opportunities, NoHo is one of the best neighborhoods in New York to pop up in.
Just over its namesake bridge is the almost too-cool cousin of many Manhattan neighborhoods, Williamsburg. Once home to many industrial factories, immigrant populations, and postgrad students, the neighborhood took on an eclectic style that still thrives today. After an influx of artists and musicians took over in the 1990s and 2000s, Williamsburg began to draw renovated lofts, trendy markets and unique boutiques as well as well-known chains. Williamsburg’s mix of old-school bohemia and commercial growth, along with plentiful tourists and foot traffic, makes it a great place to pop up.
Once a neighborhood dedicated to the meatpacking industry, Chelsea is now one of Manhattan’s trendiest neighborhoods, still catering to market lovers and foodies alike. It’s home to the ultra-popular Chelsea Market and Printed Matter, as well as world-class art galleries and high-end brands like Comme des Garcons, Dianne Von Furstenberg and Jeffrey. If you can afford its steep price tag, Chelsea offers a killer combination of glamour and urbanity.
Out-of-towners might picture Flatiron as “it” when referring to New York. From the Flatiron Building to Madison Square Park, this neighborhood should be on any traveler’s list of places to be. Large corporations such as Amazon, Target and Lego have taken over a vast majority of this ultra-expensive retail district, making the area a 24/7 tourist attraction and shopping epicenter. Should you have the budget, the Flatiron District is an optimal location to pop up.
There you have it: Parasol Project’s ultimate neighborhood guide for pop up shops! We hope that you’ll take our insider’s list into consideration when planning your next pop up.
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