Can We Expect Target to Further Appropriate LES Culture with its Essex Crossing Opening?

Posted on: July 23rd, 2018 at 5:02 am by

Photo: EV Grieve

Target opened its small format Alphabet City store Saturday afternoon with a gaudy, insensitive display of consumerist authentrification. The new location at Extell’s luxury compound on 14th Street received vinyl skin to mimic the tenement feel it destroyed, red newspaper boxes that evoked the old Village Voice ones, fake fire hydrants, cookie-cutter “art,” and worst of all, an appropriation of CBGB that probably has Hilly rolling six feet under (“TRGT”).

Jeremiah at Vanishing New York said it best by calling the marketing stunt a “Potemkin Village from Hell” that was a “deplorable commodification of local neighborhood culture.”

And now, the next neighborhood with the bullseye on its proverbial back is the Lower East Side. The forthcoming store at 400 Grand Street is slated to open on the second floor August 19. So, the logical next question is – can we expect the same (or similar) targeted cultural appropriation from this store opening at Essex Crossing? Will Target roll out red-branded pushcarts to evoke the area’s peddler past, perchance? Channel Sonny Rollins? Or maybe bring down the same fire hydrants and faux storefront clairvoyants for a reprisal?

It’s not such a stretch. After all, the fifteen-story residential building in which it resides – built on Site 5 – employed the same tactics by calling itself The Rollins. Named for Jazz master Sonny Rollins who lived in one of the tenements destroyed by this very project.

The development boasts 211 rental units (half affordable), a potential school facility, and public park on the Broome Street perimeter. Leasing for the apartments went live back in March and is pretty much unaffordable, despite the net-effective free month of rent – studios start at $2,945 per month; one-bedrooms at $3,855 per month; two-bedrooms at $5,400 per month; and three-bedrooms at $7,295 per month. The affordable stock starts at a bottom-dollar $519 per month.

Recent Stories

Armed Man in Wheelchair Fires Shots into Crowd on Madison Street

An armed man in a wheelchair allegedly fired shots into a crowd of people outside a Lower East Side bodega Friday night, police said. Leroy Mensah, 28, brandished a (stolen) 9mm gun outside the Stop 1 Deli on Madison Street and Rutgers Street shortly before 10:00pm on Friday. Officers on patrol reportedly chased down the […]

City Preps East River Park Demolition Ahead of Coastal Resiliency Project

It has come to this. The southern section of East River Park is now fenced off, ready for its destruction and rebirth. Barely a week after a temporary restraining order in place since November was overturned on appeal, the city is now ready to begin resiliency work inside East River Park. Fences are up and […]

Homeless Shelter for Chinatown Elderly Planned for East Broadway

Following a trend set during the pandemic, a former Chinatown hotel will soon be reborn as a homeless shelter. Nonprofits Asian Americans for Equality and Care for the Homeless have partnered to create the new “Safe Haven” facility, located in the former Hotel 91 on East Broadway. According to its FAQ mailer, the new safe […]

LES Father Charged in Toddler Son’s Death After Drugs Found in System

Police arrested a Lower East Side man yesterday in connection with the death of his 22-month-old son who had drugs in his system, according to the NYPD. The city’s medical examiner determined last month that the toddler – Charles Rosa-Velloso – suffered acute intoxication from fentanyl and cocaine. Police subsequently ruled it a homicide. Now, […]

Appeals Court Overturns Restraining Order that Halted East River Park Resiliency Work

The community-led effort to permanently halt destruction of East River Park for coastal resilience took a major blow this week. An appellate court ruled Tuesday that the $1.45 billion project can move forward after a month-long hiatus. On Tuesday, the Appellate Division, First Department upheld the lower court’s decision, and overturned the temporary restraining in […]