Oct 23, 2021

Interwoven by Atelier Cho Thompson

The Partnership and Van Alen Institute today unveiled the winner of the eighth annual Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition: Interwoven, an interactive installation by design firm Atelier Cho Thompson. Interwoven will be on view November 22, 2021–January 2, 2022 in the Flatiron North Public Plaza on Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and 23rd Street, creating a highly visible landmark in the heart of Manhattan throughout the holidays.

Since 2014, this annual competition has brought people together in public space through innovative design installations. Now, at the end of another year marked by isolation, the Flatiron Partnership and Van Alen Institute seek to strengthen community bonds with Interwoven. Inspired by New York's tapestry of cultures and people, Interwoven celebrates the joys of reconnecting in public space. Its interactive archways, are activated by color-coded sensors; when two or more people pass through sensors of the same color, Interwoven responds with corresponding lights and musical compositions by local artists inspired by the installation’s themes.

The installation's interactive story wall, made of backlit papers hung on a grid, invites visitors to share responses to the prompt: “I dream of a world where together we can…” The resulting narratives will become a patchwork of voices documenting this challenging yet hopeful moment. The prompt was selected by Youth Fellows from The People’s Bus NYC, a community-led, intergenerational initiative focused on engaging people in NYC’s civic life through beauty and joy.

"One of our key tenets as a firm is that we can build community around design,” said Ming Thompson and Christina Cho Yoo, Co-Founders of Atelier Cho Thompson. “Interwoven highlights our fundamental desires to connect with each other through shared experiences and to celebrate our differences. Interwoven offers a platform for stories and dreams of our future.”

“Located at one of New York City’s most iconic intersections, the Flatiron North Plaza is the perfect setting for Interwoven, an installation that provides a powerful, yet playful reminder that human interaction is essential,” said James Mettham, Executive Director of the Partnership. “As we welcome New Yorkers and visitors to explore Interwoven this holiday season, we are proud to once again collaborate with Van Alen Institute on our tradition of presenting thought-provoking public art in Flatiron.”

“Interwoven's playful design unites us through joy,” said Deborah Marton, Executive Director of Van Alen Institute. "As part of Van Alen's Public Realm R&D initiative — which celebrates the serendipity of connection and power of shared stories — we ’re honored to collaborate again with the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership to test new ways to bring people together in one of NYC's most iconic public spaces."

Inspired by the dynamic geometry of intersections that form the Flatiron Building, Interwoven’s archways, hammock, and benches are constructed with a steel framing, netting, resin panels, and high-density cork. As a firm committed to sustainable design, Atelier Cho Thompson carefully selected Interwoven’s materials including its rapidly-renewable cork and steel, a material made of mostly recycled content.

The project team includes in-kind sponsors MHA Engineering, Lam Partners, Indistinguishable from Magic, Hunter Douglas and 3form, LLI Architectural Lighting, EcoSupply, Fusion Optix, and Cadwell Signs. Grant funding was made possible by Stand with Asian Americans / Asian Pacific Fund and an anonymous donor. Fabrication and site installation will be completed by Brooklyn-based Smart Department Fabrication, Inc. After debuting Interwoven in on the Flatiron North Public Plaza, the firm will partner with community organizations in New Haven, CT to bring the installation to a local public park.

Since its inception, the Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Installation Competition has been a platform for the Partnership and Van Alen Institute to deepen their connections with emerging designers, bring people together, and support inventive visions for an iconic urban plaza.

Atelier Cho Thompson was selected by the Partnership and Van Alen Institute from a shortlist of three firms, each recommended by design experts in Van Alen’s network. The other shortlisted firms were AD-WO and Isometric Studio.

Nominations for the shortlisted firms were provided by Nina Cooke John, Founder and Principal of Studio Cooke John; Justin Garrett Moore, Program Officer, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Mark Gardner, Principal, Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects; and Ashley Mendelsohn, Architecture Curator and Educator.

The installation is presented in partnership with the New York City Department of Transportation’s Temporary Art Program and will be open to the public daily, weather permitting. The Partnership is encouraging visitors to use #InterwovenFlatiron on Twitter and Instagram to share images of the installation.

More Information - 2021 Flatiron Public Plaza Design Competition

Sep 29, 2021

Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and NYC DOT to Unveil New ‘NoMad Piazza Pop Up'

 Part of the Broadway Vision Plan, the pop-up space opens October 1 on Broadway, between 25th Street and 27th Street, complementing NoMad’s thriving outdoor dining –

(New York, N.Y.) – Today the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership, the American Institute of Architects, New York (AIANY), and the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) will open the NoMad Piazza Pop Up on the Broadway roadbed between 25th Street and 27th Street. Part of DOT’s Broadway Vision plan, the pop-up space will be open through early November, with new public seating, tables, trees, planters, and granite blocks forming the pedestrian intersection entrances. The project builds upon the success of DOT’s Open Streets program, including the Open Streets in Flatiron and NoMad that the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership has managed since May 2020.

The NoMad Piazza Pop Up will be open for pedestrians and bicyclists, but motor vehicle traffic—other than emergency vehicles—will be prohibited. The newly designed space will complement the thriving outdoor dining scene on and around these two blocks of Broadway where La Pecora Bianca, The Smith, Num Pang, Tortazo, and wagamama offer al fresco dining under DOT’s Open Restaurants program.  

Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership will manage the space with services including cleaning, maintenance, and public safety. The Partnership is working with neighborhood businesses and cultural institutions to provide light public programming throughout the month.

“We are excited to offer this serene spot, next to some of the city’s most dynamic outdoor dining, where people can meet up with friends, relax, and enjoy the fall weather,” said James Mettham, Executive Director of the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership. “The NoMad Piazza Pop Up builds on the success of the Open Streets and Open Restaurants programs in our district, along with our commitment to creative public realm improvements that will help our neighborhood recover from the impacts of the pandemic. We are grateful to DOT, AIANY, Community Board 5, the NoMad Alliance, and other local stakeholders for collaborating with us.”

“This is another wonderful addition to what is becoming the heart of Open Streets along Broadway in Manhattan,” said DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman. “Our fellow New Yorkers are embracing these new open spaces, which are helping to support the restaurant industry while also getting folks out of their cars. I want to thank the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership for being excellent partners as we continue to transform our streetscape.”

The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership worked closely with Future Streets—a group of architects, landscape architects, and planners sponsored by the AIANY, American Society of Landscape Architects, New York Chapter (ASLA-NY), and the American Planning Association, New York Metro Chapter (APA-NYM)—to develop ideas for how the public right-of-way, property line to property line, could be repositioned for a more equitable, sustainable, and safer pedestrian environment.

The creation of the NoMad Piazza Pop Up in the northern section of the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership’s Business Improvement District (BID) service area comes three months before the January 2022 expansion of the BID’s boundaries—including a northward expansion from 28th Street to 31st Street along Broadway and Sixth Avenue.

“The NoMad Piazza Pop Up’s location near our BID expansion area builds momentum for the upcoming extension of our supplemental services to the northern parts of NoMad,” explained Mettham. “This project offers the greater NoMad community a taste of what’s to come from the Partnership’s public space management.”

The new seasonal plaza is the latest step in DOT’s Broadway Vision plan to expand public space, enhance pedestrian safety, and increase accessibility on Broadway between Columbus Circle and Union Square. It is also part of DOT’s Seasonal Streets program, which transforms streets into pedestrian-priority spaces that deliver public space at more precise times to address pedestrian peaks.

The project reflects the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership’s long-term vision of a pedestrian-focused Broadway corridor through Flatiron and NoMad, which has also included the construction of the Flatiron Public Plazas in 2009; Manhattan’s first Shared Street, from 24th to 25th Street, which was unveiled in 2017; and the Flatiron Slow Block project, which recently transformed Broadway between 21st Street and 23rd Street into a more people-friendly corridor earlier this year.

 >>Download Full Press Release

Jul 30, 2021

New York City Council Approves Expansion of Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership BID’s Boundaries, Nearly Doubling District’s Size

- Beginning in 2022 the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership will bring supplementary sanitation, safety, and other services to a larger footprint that includes 20th Street, Sixth Avenue, and more of NoMad -

 New York, July 30, 2021 – The New York City Council yesterday voted to approve legislation that will expand the boundaries of the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID) as of January 1, 2022. The expansion will nearly double the size of the BID, bringing the Partnership’s supplemental sanitation and safety services, homeless outreach, public space management and beautification, marketing, business support, and advocacy to a larger footprint that will include 20th Street, the Sixth Avenue gateway to the district, and more of NoMad.

A map of the expanded district features current bid boundaries in orange, and expanded bid boundaries in blue
Map of the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership BID, with the original
BID boundaries (orange) and the expansion areas for 2022 (blue).

Since its inception in 2006, the Partnership has served Flatiron and the southern part of NoMad. Increasingly, business owners, property owners, and residents just outside of the BID’s original boundaries have expressed a need for BID services on their blocks. As the district and surrounding areas have evolved, the need has grown for broader public realm services and enhancements, districtwide promotions and advocacy, and a more cohesive neighborhood identity.

“For 15 years, the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership has helped cement the reputation of Flatiron and NoMad as two of New York City’s most vital and exiting neighborhoods and now we look forward to having the same impact in an expanded footprint,” said James Mettham, executive director of the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership. “Our new stakeholders can look forward to cleaner streets, more inviting public spaces, and more support for small businesses. We are grateful to Mayor de Blasio and the City Council, in particular Speaker Corey Johnson and Members Carlina Rivera and Keith Powers, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and Community Boards 4 and 5 for their support of our BID expansion.”

“The work of BIDs across the city is more important than ever as we help businesses and neighborhoods recover from the pandemic and adapt to post-pandemic life,” Mettham added. “We are committed to ensuring that the new areas of our BID – and every block in Flatiron and NoMad – are special places that make people want to live, work, visit, and play here in the heart of Manhattan.” 

The areas joining the BID include 1,384 properties, 344 of which are commercial; more than 20 existing or under-construction hotels; a diverse array of retail and dining; a plethora of cultural destinations and historic sites; a growing residential community; and the dynamic Sixth Avenue mixed-use corridor.

The City Council’s approval of the BID’s expansion follows four years of planning and stakeholder engagement by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership in close coordination with the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS), and a thorough public review process that was temporarily delayed by the COVID pandemic. The expansion plan has been widely embraced by neighborhood stakeholders.

"Congratulations to the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership on their concerted effort to make this expansion possible. It has been a pleasure working with the Flatiron Partnership and Steering Committee over the last few years to help them realize this expansion. I am very proud of the City Council's vote today to expand the boundaries of the BID, which will ensure important services can be provided to the local businesses and residential community who call Flatiron home," said New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

"I'm so excited to see the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District officially expand its boundaries with this important City Council vote today. This expansion will bring important services to community members in my District, including additional sanitation services, community outreach, and street activation, and I look forward to continuing to work with the BID on new initiatives in these wonderful neighborhoods," said New York City Council Member Carlina Rivera.

“Since 2006, the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership has helped anchor Flatiron and NoMad as two of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods. This expansion will allow more New Yorkers to benefit from their continued support for local businesses, sanitation services, public space maintenance, and more. I’m proud to be supporting the expansion, and I thank the Mayor, Speaker Johnson, Council Member Rivera, Manhattan Borough President Brewer, and Community Boards 4 and 5 for their work,” said New York City Council Member Keith Powers.

“We are grateful for this vote of confidence from our neighborhood stakeholders. We look forward to bringing our expertise to a larger territory in this vibrant part of New York City,” said Michael T. Cohen, President of the Tri-State Region at Colliers International and Chairman of the Board of the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership

Throughout the COVID pandemic, the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership’s staff has been on the streets every day, responding to stakeholders’ evolving needs and helping to ensure that public spaces have remained safe, clean, and beautiful. Since May 2020, the Partnership has managed the City’s Open Streets program in Flatiron and NoMad, opening the roadbed on stretches of Broadway, 20th Street, 22nd Street, and 28th Street to pedestrians and cyclists for greater social distancing. Additionally, the Partnership has worked with local restaurants on outdoor dining on sidewalks and streets through the City’s Open Restaurants program.

This summer, the Partnership collaborated with the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) to create the new Flatiron Slow Street, which has transformed Broadway between 21st Street and 23rd Street into a more pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly thoroughfare. The project is part of the Partnership’s long-term vision of a pedestrian-focused Broadway corridor through Flatiron and NoMad, which has also included the construction of the Flatiron Public Plazas in 2009 and Manhattan’s first Shared Street, from 24th to 25th Street, which was unveiled in 2017.

While the pandemic greatly reduced the number of commuters and tourists coming to Manhattan’s central business districts, momentum toward recovery continues to build. Pedestrian volumes in the Flatiron Public Plazas were up 80% by the end of June 2021, compared with June 2020. Both ground-floor retail leasing and commercial office leasing increased in Q2 2021. More than 60 new businesses have opened – or announced plans to open – in the district since July 2020.

The New York City Department of Small Business Services oversees the city’s BID program. A BID is a nonprofit organization made up of property owners and commercial tenants who are dedicated to promoting economic development and improving an area’s quality of life. There are 76 BIDs operating in New York City that invest over $170.5 million to serve 93,000 businesses in all five boroughs and maintain 152 public spaces.

>> Download Full Press Release

Sep 29, 2020

Announcing the 2020 Holiday Art Installation: Point of Action

Flatiron Partnership and Van Alen Institute Announce Selection of 7th Annual Flatiron Public Plaza Design Installation: 

 Point of Action by Studio Cooke John

NEW YORK, September 29, 2020 – The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen Institute today announced their selection for the seventh annual Flatiron Public Plaza Design Installation: Point of Action by Studio Cooke John. Point of Action will be on view November 23, 2020–January 1, 2021 in the Flatiron Public Plazas on Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and 23rd Street in Manhattan, creating a highly visible landmark throughout the holidays.

Point of Action invites New Yorkers and visitors to contemplate the experience of seeing one another—and being seen. Once the viewer steps out of their usual routine and into the installation’s threshold, there are multiple opportunities for connection with fellow viewers and with passersby. Six-foot circles affixed onto the Flatiron Public Plazas create nine “spotlights,” each with its own vertical metal frame. Ropes weave through each frame and part, like a curtain figuratively pulled aside, to make room for the viewer to take the spotlight, connect with other viewers across the Plazas, and take action as they move out and beyond. Lighting emitted from a halo above each circle strengthens the framing; lights embedded into the sides of each frame add another layer to the viewer.

"We are at a threshold during this pandemic. Now that our eyes have been opened to realities that have been with us all along, how do we move forward? My hope is that Point of Action makes people think about how we connect to the people we see every day so that we can move forward together,” said Nina Cooke John, Principal and Founder of Studio Cooke John.

As the first Flatiron Public Design Installation to be spread throughout both the North and South Plazas, Point of Action’s larger footprint allows for more socially distanced engagement. However, the installation’s concentric circles ripple out from each spot, eventually connecting with other circles, and thus other viewers, across the Plazas.

Point of Action beautifully meets our city’s current moment of uncertainty, provoking us to think not only about our interconnectedness with one another, but the role of our public spaces in creating connected, healthy, and resilient communities as we look toward collective recovery,” said James Mettham, Executive Director of the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership. “There is no better place for this installation than the Flatiron Public Plazas, world-renown public spaces for meeting friends, participating in our public programming, and enjoying art and architecture. We are proud to partner with the Van Alen Institute to present Point of Action and we invite visitors from near and far to visit Flatiron this season.”

“This year has been a profound exercise in finding new ways of connecting, from embracing video calls to coming together in social action. With Point of Action, Studio Cooke John powerfully captures the importance of building new connections and community, which are critical to our city’s resilience,” said Deborah Marton, Executive Director, Van Alen Institute. “The Flatiron Public Plaza Design Installation is an important part of Van Alen Institute's Public Realm R&D program, intended to surface the work of emerging designers and test new strategies to bring people together in public space. We’re honored to collaborate with the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership to activate this iconic plaza, especially as our outdoor public spaces have proven essential to our wellbeing.”

“This year DOT Art is especially appreciative of Studio Cooke John’s highly interactive response in a time when our city is craving connection,” said Wendy Feuer, DOT Assistant Commissioner of Urban Design + Art + Wayfinding. “For the first time, work will be installed on both the North and South Plazas, which strengthens the theme of connectivity and allows space for reflection.”

Studio Cooke John is a multidisciplinary design studio with a broad range of expertise that values placemaking as a way to transform relationships between people and the built environment. Led by Studio Cooke John founder Nina Cooke John, the Point of Action project team includes fabricator Charlie Spademan of Spademan Fabrication; NY Lighting Group, which is donating in-kind fabrication services; lighting consultant Jimmie Drummond of Drummond Projects; and installation contractor Kathy Lysikowska-Diaz of KLD NY Inc.

Studio Cooke John was selected by the Partnership and Van Alen from a shortlist of seven firms, each recommended by design experts in Van Alen’s network. The other shortlisted firms were Architensions, Austin + Mergold, Bryony Roberts Studio, Office Lou Arencibia, Studio Ijeoma, and Studio Zewde.

Nominations for the shortlisted firms were provided by Benjamin Cadena, Founder, Studio Cadena; Justin Garrett Moore, Executive Director, New York City Public Design Commission; Toni L. Griffin, Founder, urbanAC; Nancy Hou & Josh De Sousa, Founders, Hou de Sousa; Jing Liu, Principal, SO-IL; V. Mitch McEwen, Principal, Atelier Office; Ashley Mendelsohn, Architecture Curator and Educator; Leni Schwendinger, Founder, Leni Schwendinger Light Projects; and Jae Shin, Partner, HECTOR.

Since its inception in 2014, the Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition has been a platform for the Partnership and Van Alen Institute to deepen their connections with emerging designers, bring people together, and support inventive visions for an iconic urban plaza. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s installation will offer the neighborhood continuity in uncertain times.

The installation is permitted through NYC DOT Art and will be open to the public daily, weather permitting. The Partnership is encouraging visitors to use #PointofAction on Twitter and Instagram to share images of the installation.

>> Download Full Press Release
>> Visit Van Alen's Flatiron Installation Overview

Aug 12, 2020

All in Flatiron Dining Deals

Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Unveils All in Flatiron Campaign to Help Flatiron and NoMad Restaurants Recover 
– Online and in-person discounts from nearly 30 neighborhood restaurants are available now through September 30

The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership has launched All in Flatiron Dining Deals, a new campaign featuring special online and in-person discounts from nearly 30 restaurants around Flatiron and NoMad. The campaign is an extension of NYC & Company's All in NYC campaign which is a rallying call to unite locals as New York City reopens and begins to recover.

Now through September 30, customers can show an All in Flatiron digital badge at locations offering in-person promotions, or use promo code “ALLINFLATIRON” for online orders where applicable. Deals include free desserts, appetizers, glasses of wine and more—for outdoor dining, take-out and delivery.

To explore the full list of participating restaurants and their deals, visit flatirondistrict.nyc/allin.

In the weeks ahead, the Partnership will work with local businesses in other sectors to share out their “All In” videos and content as a part of the broader All in NYC campaign.

>> Full Press Release Here.  

Apr 14, 2020

New York Business Leaders Unveil Economic Relief & Recovery Plan

As Economy Spirals, Restaurant, Retail, Civic, Real Estate and Tech Leaders
Submit '
Blueprint to Save Small Business’ 

NEW YORK, NY, April 13, 2020 – Prominent New York City industry leaders in restaurants, nightlife, retail, real estate, economic development and tech have joined forces to advocate for urgently-needed relief to save the city’s small business community.

Reflecting the magnitude of this crisis, the body of the group comprises the Bronx Chamber of Commerce, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Greenwich Village Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, NYC BID Association, New York City Hospitality Alliance, NYS Latino Restaurant, Bar & Lounge Association, New York State Restaurant Association, Queens Chamber of Commerce, Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, Tech:NYC and The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY).

With hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers out of work amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the group outlined four key policies to resuscitate ailing small businesses and revamp the economy.

The policies entail direct financial assistance for rent and mortgages for the duration of the shutdown, extending business interruption insurance to cover the COVID-19 pandemic and converting sales tax collection into cash grants for small businesses.

The Blueprint to Save Small Business is being presented in a letter (attached) to Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio and other elected leaders in New York. It includes:

  • INSURANCE: Business interruption insurance claims related to COVID-19 should be required to be paid, or a specialized business recovery fund should be established to promptly pay claims to businesses required to close (or limit their operations), by government order. When necessary, the federal government must provide the insurance companies appropriate assistance.
  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): Amend the Paycheck Protection Program of the CARES Act to allow the loan to be forgivable if businesses hire back needed staff at a minimum of six months after they fully reopen; allow a larger allocation of the money to be used for rent or other expenses; and, expand the stimulus funding so it is available over a longer period of time, so businesses who do not immediately apply can still obtain funding. Also, require all participating banks to accept, review and qualify applications from any small business without requiring existing accounts or loans. If these amendments are not made, the PPP will not help countless businesses that need stimulus funding.
  • SALES TAX:  We recognize the State and City of New York face significant budgetary constraints, nonetheless, we recommend investigating the fiscal implications of converting restaurants, nightlife establishments and retail stores’ sales tax collection into grants. These small businesses need an injection of cash to help them survive during the COVID-19 emergency. Since these monies are on hand, converting (and/or reverting) the sales tax collection into a grant, will help small businesses immediately with needed cash flow, and will stimulate economic activity. 
  • RENT AND MORTGAGES: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency, businesses and property owners face significant challenges. The majority of businesses in New York City have been mandated by the government to close (or limit their operations) and many therefore cannot pay their rent. Property owners have financial obligations including property taxes, mortgages, maintenance, and capital improvements – much of which is paid for by the rent from businesses. While we recommend that commercial tenants and property owners make arrangements per their circumstances to help both parties weather this crisis, we recognize that realistic terms may not always be available. Therefore, we recommend a government backstop be provided during this emergency. These government programs could include direct federal financial assistance, rent and mortgage forbearance, and/or a property tax deduction for landlords who provide rent concessions to their tenants. 

The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership is a member of the affore mentioned NYC BID Association. To read the letter to our elected officials in full, click here

Nov 13, 2019

Manhattan College and the EVAC Project Opens Pop-Up Gallery of Portraits Honoring Veterans in the Flatiron Building

Story Portraits of US Veterans: World War II – Today” runs through the end of the year, with support from the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and GFP Real Estate.

Manhattan College and the EVAC Project (Experiencing Veterans & Artists Collaboration), with support from the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and GFP Real Estate, opened a new pop-up gallery of portraits honoring veterans from multiple generations and all branches of service, on the ground-floor of New York City’s famed Flatiron Building (949 Broadway) on Sunday, November 10.

Titled “Story Portraits of US Veterans: World War IIToday,” the exhibit features visual presentations and descriptive narratives, including a World War II Marine who fought in Okinawa, a Gold Star mother, and a post-9/11 82nd Airborne veteran who served multiple tours as part of Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom. Joining these are 21 additional images and stories of those who have served our nation.

“We are excited to partner with the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and GFP Real Estate to bring the EVAC Project gallery to New York City. This is a great opportunity to share stories of veterans with the public to remember and honor those who served,” said Tiana Sloan, Director of Veterans Success Programs at Manhattan College.

Flatiron’s Madison Square, steps from the Flatiron Building, has been the site of New York City’s annual Veterans Day memorial ceremony and parade since its inception, the largest such observance in the country.

 “Flatiron is a neighborhood rich with meaning for our veterans, so it’s a fitting location for this moving exhibit honoring those who fought and sacrificed for our country,” said James Mettham, Executive Director of the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership. “We are honored to work with our partners at Manhattan College, the EVAC Project, and GFP Real Estate to bring these portraits and stories to the Flatiron Building. We encourage all New Yorkers and those visiting our city to come and see this important exhibit.”

“Story Portraits of US Veterans: World War II – Today” will be free and open to the public through the end of the year, six days a week (closed on Tuesdays and holidays).

For more information on the gallery, click here.

About Manhattan College
Manhattan College is located at West 242nd Street near Broadway in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, one mile from the Westchester County line and accessible by MTA subway line No. 1.

Founded in 1853, Manhattan College is an independent, Lasallian Catholic, coeducational institution of higher learning offering more than 40 major programs of undergraduate study in the areas of liberal arts, business, education and health, engineering and science, along with continuing and professional studies, and a graduate division.

About the EVAC Project
Experiencing Veterans and Artists Collaborations (EVAC) is an art project that brings together veterans and artists. EVAC curators interviewed veterans about their experiences, and artists made an edition of prints based on their interpretation of those stories. The prints are exhibited with excerpts from the transcribed interviews. EVAC works to bridge the often precarious gap between military and civilian life. For more information about the EVAC Project.


Oct 10, 2019

Flatiron Partnership and Van Alen Institute Announce Winning Holiday Installation Design: Ziggy

The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen Institute announced the winner of the sixth annual Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition: Ziggy by New York-based team Hou de Sousa. On view November 18, 2019–January 1, 2020, Ziggy will celebrate the holiday season with vibrant hues and playful gestures, creating a highly visible landmark at the heart of the Flatiron District and the centerpiece of the Partnership’s annual holiday programming. Join us for the launch party on November 18th from 6 pm to 8 pm. 

“Our holiday installation is a tradition that evokes the wonder and joy of the season for those who live in, work in, and visit Flatiron,” said James Mettham, Executive Director of the Flatiron Partnership. “Ziggy is a fitting centerpiece for our annual ‘23 Days of Flatiron Cheer’ festivities and a vibrant kaleidoscopic beacon that will be a must-see destination this December. We are proud to partner with Van Alen Institute and Hou de Sousa, and we invite visitors from near and far to visit Flatiron this season!”

“Hou de Sousa’s spectacular installation invites us to rethink how we interact with public space, and with one another,” said Deborah Marton, Executive Director, Van Alen Institute. “Through the clever use of transparent materials and open gateways, their design creates delightful and unexpected ways to connect with others. We’re thrilled to collaborate once again with the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership in this annual tradition to create inventive and imaginative visions for an iconic urban plaza.”

Composed of painted rebar and 27,000 feet of iridescent cord, Ziggy’s lightweight structure will dynamically filter its surroundings with shifting patterns, color, and light. Its winding form will frame views of the Flatiron District’s many attractions and landmarks, while also serving as seating for locals and visitors seeking a moment of rest. The structure will be installed on the Flatiron North Public Plaza at Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and 23rd Street, as part of the Partnership’s “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” programming. The installation is permitted through NYC DOT Art and will be open to the public daily, weather permitting.

“Ziggy is a polyvalent creature that strings together gateways, apertures, and seating,” said Josh de Sousa, Principal & Co-Founder of Hou de Sousa. “This porous wall will welcome folks arriving from all directions while ringing in the holiday season with a flourish of color and light.”

“This competition continues to demonstrate the importance of both public art and programming in DOT public plazas,” said NYC DOT Art & Event Programming Director, Emily Colasacco. “Hou de Sousa’s interactive, larger-than-life-size configuration will bring even more color to the already vibrant Flatiron District, and DOT is pleased to be part of the annual holiday transformation as we enter our sixth year as a partner.”

Hou de Sousa is a New York-based architecture, art, and design studio focused on culturally progressive and environmentally responsible projects that foster public engagement and creativity. Over the past two years, Nancy Hou and Josh de Sousa’s office has won open competitions and RFPs hosted by Google; Friends of the High Line; Georgetown BID; Socrates Sculpture Park; Dupont Underground; the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism; and the Architectural League of New York. The Ziggy project team also includes Powell Draper, Director of Operations at Schlaich Bergermann and Partner; Dan Bergsagel, Structural Engineer at Schlaich Bergermann and Partner; and steel fabrication by Brian Chu and Conor Coghlan, the Co-Founders of A05 Studio.

Since its inception in 2014, the Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition has been a platform for the Partnership and Van Alen Institute to deepen their connections with emerging designers and engage with their local neighborhood. This year’s closed-call competition began in June, when the Partnership and Van Alen invited a selection of design and architecture firms to submit proposals.  A jury with expertise across the worlds of design and public art, including representatives from the Flatiron Partnership and Van Alen’s Board of Trustees, reviewed proposals by Besler & Sons, Hou De Sousa, New Affiliates, Only If, and Worrell Yeung.

Sponsored by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership, Ziggy and the accompanying programming “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” featuring free prize giveaways, hot beverages, perfomances, and fitness classes are made possible with generous support from Presenting Sponsor Meringoff Properties.

Throughout the holidays, the Partnership is encouraging visitors to use #ZiggyFlatiron on Twitter and Instagram to share images of the installation to be entered into a contest to win prizes from local businesses.

To view each proposal, click here.

To view the full press release, click here.

Photo Credit: Cameron Blaylock

Sep 24, 2019

Trending in Flatiron: At the (Healthy) Heart of New York City

The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership today issued Trending in Flatiron, a report showcasing the significant development and growth of the commercial and residential sectors in the Flatiron and NoMad neighborhoods.

Subtitled “At the (Healthy) Heart of New York City,” the report comprehensively describes the district’s 2019 vital statistics, and highlights the strength of its wellness sector, which has contributed to the neighborhood’s overall economic growth. The report is among a suite of publications from the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership that focuses on the real estate market in the neighborhood.

>> Download the Report Here

 “The growth of the wellness sector in Flatiron and NoMad has been remarkable, as this report demonstrates,” said James Mettham, the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership’s Executive Director. “It’s easy to see why businesses focused on wellness want to be here. With the district’s central location, easy access to public transportation, and the sheer volume of New Yorkers who live in the neighborhood or come here to work or visit, Flatiron and NoMad offer access to a healthy customer base. Beyond the booming wellness sector, this report also shows that this is a dynamic district with an irresistible mix of commercial and residential sectors.”

The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership is one of 76 Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) operating in New York City. From 21st to 28th Streets, and Sixth Avenue east to Third Avenue, the BID boundaries (Flatiron District) cover about 21.6 million square feet of commercial space with 212 commercial office buildings and 553 ground-floor businesses. Since the establishment of the Partnership in 2006, the Flatiron District has undergone a dramatic transformation into a safe, clean, and desirable neighborhood sought out by all types of people, businesses, industries, and interests.

A boom in the wellness industry has driven interest in a variety of practices that have become a selling point for all types of products and services. Wellness components have increasingly appeared in an array of businesses in the Flatiron District. Since 2018 the area has seen a 7.3% increase in wellness-focused businesses. Today, the neighborhood is home to 116 wellness-focused retail and services storefronts, accounting for one out of every five ground-floor businesses in the district.

Flatiron is commonly referred to as the “Fit District,” with over 60 fitness studios and gyms in the neighborhood, representing a 72% increase from 2014. This includes first-of-its-kind inventive fitness concepts, such as Brrn, the world’s first cool temperature fitness concept, and Precision Run, Equinox’s first running-only studio. Soon, Rumble, a boxing-inspired group fitness concept will launch Rumble Treading, a treadmill and strength-based class, in the Flatiron District.

Globally, the Personal Care, Beauty and Anti-Aging industry is a $1 billion sector within the wellness market. Flatiron and NoMad are home to 50 beauty-related businesses, including hair and nail salons, tanning and day spas, and beauty and cosmetics retailers. They include Alchemy 43, a Los Angeles-based aesthetics bar that debuted its East Coast location in Flatiron, L’Occitane En Provence, the New York City flagship for the international personal care brand, and Silver Mirror Facial Bar.

Also highlighted in the report are a wide variety of businesses that are removing misconceptions around wellness practices and products, to make them more approachable, including: acupuncture studio and herbal shop WTHN, wellness destination Standard Dose, community mediation space Inscape, and coworking community Assemblage NoMad.

The Flatiron District is also one of the city’s most popular food destinations, with 140 fast-casual dining spots. As New Yorkers have become more conscious of what they eat, the neighborhood has become a haven for healthier options, including Fields Good Chicken, Honeybrains, and Veggie Grill.

Among the findings in the new report:

  • Retail

    • There are approximately 553 ground floor businesses in the district—32.6% are national, and 67.4% are locally-owned independent businesses.

    • The retail availability rate is 9.4%.

    • Flatiron is home to more than 230 restaurants, bars, and quick and casual food establishments. This includes 29 newly-opened restaurants, with another 9 coming soon.
  • Office

    • Flatiron has an estimated 84,927 daytime employees.

    • Average price per square foot of Class A and B office space is $69.

    • Average asking rent for Class A & B office space is 7.5% higher than the Manhattan-wide average.

    • The Class A & B vacancy rate is 11.4%.

    • Tenants from the technology, advertising, marketing and media sectors accounting for 62.5% of office space lease signings.

    • Flatiron is home to nearly 50 coworking locations
  • Residential
    • Flatiron’s estimated residential population is 29,866.

    • Within BID boundaries, there are approximately 19,986 housing units, with an additional 411 units planned or under construction.

    • Flatiron has seen a 62.6% increase in children enrolled in local schools and 55.4% increase in families with children.  


Image: Brrrn, 107 West 20th Street