As the 15th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, Lower Manhattan now stands as a newly envisioned destination making this downtown neighbourhood a city hotspot. Over the last several years, the neighbourhood has experienced an incredible renaissance with new hotels, fantastic shopping, celebrity chef–owned restaurants and record-breaking attraction openings. A prime destination for tourism, Lower Manhattan is enjoying an extraordinary moment in time, from the opening of the luxury Four Seasons New York Downtown to the debut of the Westfield World Trade Center shopping complex.
“Lower Manhattan’s remarkable revitalisation over the last 15 years is a cornerstone of the ‘new’ New York City,” said Fred Dixon, President and CEO of NYC & Company. “With tourism reaching record levels in New York City, visitors and locals have more choices to explore, shop, stay and dine than ever before in this newly reimagined downtown neighbourhood.”
Whether it’s leisure or business travel, visitors will find a wide variety of new hotel accommodation options throughout the neighbourhood. Historic Victorian architecture meets modern luxury at The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel, which opened to the public on 23 August 2016. The hotel features 287 rooms, including penthouse suites and an original nine-storey glass atrium. TheFour Seasons New York Downtown, which opens late September, will feature Four Seasons’ well-known hospitality and 189 rooms and suites, situated a block away from the World Trade Center. The hotel will include an urban spa, as well as a new restaurant, CUT by Wolfgang Puck.
Business travellers and families looking for extra space can relax at the newly opened AKA Wall Street, complete with 132 fully furnished extended-stay apartments, or the all-suite Conrad New York, featuring 463 luxury suites overlooking the Hudson River.
The latest fashion trends and name-brand retailers now call Lower Manhattan home. Fulton Center offers a variety of handcrafted products from retailers such as NYS Collection, Moleskine and Tiecoon. Along the Hudson River waterfront, Brookfield Place, which opened in 2015, is home to contemporary luxury brands such as Diane von Furstenberg, Michael Kors, Lululemon and Saks Fifth Avenue opening next month. The $1.4 billion Westfield World Trade Center shopping complex has just opened with around 60 stores, with 40 more stores opening by the end of the year. Shops that have opened so far include Apple, Under Armour, Kate Spade and Lacoste.
World-renowned chefs, new concepts and outposts of the city’s best restaurants are some of the new culinary experiences to be found in Lower Manhattan. At Brookfield Place, visitors can browse through a French-inspired market at Le District, featuring three restaurants and four districts selling quality meats, cheeses, breads and more. Upstairs from Le District is Hudson Eats, serving up popular dishes from city mainstays including Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque and Num Pang sandwich shop. Another city mainstay, Shake Shack, has recently opened at Fulton Center.
The new Eataly NYC Downtown Italian marketplace debuted at 4 World Trade Center this month and features tastings, a sit-down Southern Italian restaurant, bread bakery, Italian coffee bar and several to-go options. Pier A Harbor House, which opened last year in Battery Park, is an old immigration hall turned into a restaurant and beer hall, featuring fresh seafood and private event space with views of the Statue of Liberty.
Wolfgang Puck will open his award-winning steakhouse CUT by Wolfgang Puck next month at the Four Seasons New York Downtown, his first restaurant in the city. At The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel, chef Tom Colicchio opened his signature Fowler & Wells restaurant, along with restaurateur Keith McNally and his Brasserie-style restaurant Augustine, on 23 August. Celebrity chef John-Georges Vongerichten plans to debut a food hall–style fish market and restaurant in Pier 17 at South Street Seaport in 2017. Additionally, David Chang is planning a dynamic new concept at the same location.
For unbeatable views of Lower Manhattan, visitors can grab a signature Prosecco & Ice Pop cocktail atop The Conrad New York’s Loop Doopy Rooftop Bar (open seasonally).
Attractions and culture
Visitors to Lower Manhattan will find a new hub of culture and attractions throughout the neighbourhood. The crown jewel of the area’s redevelopment is One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and home to One World Observatory, opened in May 2015. To honour the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum will open a new exhibit ‘Rendering the Unthinkable: Artists Respond to 9/11’ on 12 September.
In spring 2015, the aqua-themed SeaGlass Carousel opened at Battery Park, as well as the expansion of the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration in New York Harbor. South Street Seaport is currently going through a transformation with a new iPic luxury cinema opening on 7 October, the reopening of the South Street Seaport Museum earlier this winter and 27,870 square metres of new retail space opening next year.
Just a ferry ride away from Lower Manhattan, Governors Island completed its transformation mid-year into a cultural and educational hub with the opening of The Hills, four man-made hills that provide unparalleled views of the skyline, featuring the tallest slide in the City.