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NYC Neighborhood Discovery: The Garment District and Penn Plaza

October 22nd, 2015 / Author: rbielsky

Seventh avenue signAccording to an analysis of CoStar Group data by real estate magazine The Real Deal, the Penn Plaza and Garment District submarket handily beats Chelsea, Times Square, and SoHo as the most active leasing market — in fact, it even comes close to being more active than all three combined. Here is the low-down to help you get to know this popular area.

Also known as the Fashion District, this center of fashion design and manufacturing has been located in Manhattan between Fifth and Ninth Avenues, from 34th to 42nd Street, since around 1850.

Before the 19th century, most people either made their own clothes or had them custom-made by tailors. In the early 19th century, ready-made garments were growing in popularity — and with the invention of the sewing machine, these garments were able to be industrialized. Those factories needed workers, of course — so, in keeping with New York’s melting pot history, garment manufacturers mainly employed German and central European workers, bringing even more ethnic diversity to the area. By the 1860s, the majority of people were buying — not making — their clothing. In fact, by the beginning of the 20th century, more than half of clothing in the entire United States was being manufactured in the Garment District!

From a real estate perspective, the Garment District is diverse — it’s full of technology, advertising, media, and information (TAMI) industries, entrepreneurs, and finance leaders. Professionals flock to the area. There’s also a growing presence of new residential developments, luxury hotels, specialty retailers, and fine restaurants. The public plaza in the center creates a great sense of community, and the whole district has a modern, artsy feel.

A hub of fashion and art

In the one square mile that is the Garment District, there are literally thousands of fashion-related businesses. Whether you’re looking for apparel, accessories, or textiles, you’ll definitely find what you need. If you’re planning a shopping trip, consider scheduling it around a “sample sale,” where some garments are marked down as much as 80%!

There are a wide variety of art installations in place year-round, the Broadway sculpture series regularly brings unique sculptures to the neighborhood, and when you factor in the annual Arts Festival, the Garment District is a fantastic opportunity for artists and art lovers alike.

Looking for a caffeine boost? There are plenty of independent cafes that offer specialty coffee and espresso. Enjoy a cocktail with a view at one of the many rooftop bars and lounges. For dinner, find anything from inexpensive curry to fine-dining Italian and steakhouses — there is something for every palate in the Garment District!

Contact Manhattan Commercial Realty by phone at 212-624-9224, by email or online.

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