Shops prepare to open at Fulton Center one year after transit center opens – Metro US

Shops prepare to open at Fulton Center one year after transit center opens

The first permanent shop in Fulton Centeris close to opening, Metro has learned.

Organic popcorn shop Pop Karma was on track to open by the end of the week, but last-minute construction has pushed back the opening, according to owner Jean Tsai.

“We don’t really know the date we’re going to open, but we’re working to open as soon as possible,” Tsai said.

Fulton Center, which connects nine subway lines, opened in November 2014. The station has 66,000 sqare feet of retail and commercial space being leased by Westfield. The MTA said the leasing company is not yet paying rent to the MTA, but covering operating expenses that would otherwise fall on the authority to pay.

This is the second location for Pop Karma. The first location opened in 2012 at 95 Orchard St. on the Lower East Side.

“Fulton Center is a really exciting place for us. We like being downtown, it’s booming in terms of the World Trade Center filling up, and there’s a lot of tourists and lots of residential happening,” Tsai said. “We really like that vitality, and at Fulton Center there’s a great mix of tenants we’re excited to be a part of … the MTA thinks of it as their Grand Central.”

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Tsai says she thinks of the 100-square foot glass-enclosed store as a “jewel box,” and said the shop will have custom popcorn warmers built in. The new shop was funded through a Kickstarter campaign, which raised $6,510 by the time it ended earlier this month.

“I’d say we put a lot of thought into the design and how it reflects of vision as a business. We’re really excited about the work that went into it, and the design, and to see our current customers and neighbors there.”

The boutique popcorn shop will be the first permanent retailer at Fulton Center. Men’s Bar, the pop-up kiosque on ground level for men’s skin and beauty products, will close on Thursday, according to an employee.

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“I can’t wait for everyone to get in and the center to be fully open,” Tsai said.

Signage for Pop Karma, Irving Farm Coffee Roasters and Wasabi was recently installed. Shake Shack signs hang below the oculus, and the beloved burger chain is set to open in 2016.

Irving Farm Coffee Roasters is anticipating to open on Jan. 1 to ring in the new year, said marketing director John Summerour.

Summerour said the company, which has five locations in New York City and two in the Hudson Valley, where they roast their beans.

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Summerour said the company was approached about leasing space in Fulton Center while the transit hub was still being built. Fulton Center jived with the company, whose owners are interested in architecture, and whose other coffeehouses are in “iconic” spaces, such as Grand Central and a tenement row house.

“We’ve been approached by cookie cutter developments, and they haven’t been the right fit,” Summerour said. “I don’t know a lot of people would make an obvious connection between coffee shops and architecture, but the owners are really passionate …

“This is the first time we’ve moved into a modern architecture space, and it’s a fun challenge for us, how to take our farmy, reclaimed wood [look] and adapt that for this beautiful rotunda of light and reflection.”

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Wasabi UK told Metro their second New York City store after Times Square is set to open in “early 2016.” A more specific date was not available, and the company said in a statement they are looking forward to serving fresh sushi and bento to “busy financial district workers.”

“We’re excited to have them opening soon. Other openings are close behind as you can see from the signage at the station,” MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said.

“We expect the openings to begin in the next month and continue through 2016,” Westfield said in a statement. “Fulton Center will be home to a mix of approximately 20 exciting and convenient retail and food options, designed for commuters, residents and tourists.”