The Limelight Marketplace Relaunches as Department Store


Limelight Marketplace

The decommissioned Chelsea church, located at 20th Street and Sixth Avenue in Manhattan, is undergoing yet another transformation.

The former 1800s Episcopalian church, which revived in 1980 as The Limelight nightclub and again in 2010 as the Limelight Marketplace, will relaunch in September 2011 as Limelight- a three-story department store.

After an overall unsuccessful year with the original concept, owner Jack Menashe concluded that the space was too small to execute the marketplace properly. Under a 20-year lease with building owner Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp., Menashe will spend about $4 million converting the current 40-vendor indoor mall into a single department store.

Limelight will house brands such as Bed Stu, PRPS, Nudie Jeans and James Perse. Although most current clothing and fashion tenants will be terminated, Menashe plans on incorporating some into the larger store. In addition, he will continue to sublease space to individual food retailers and restaurants, including celebrity chef Todd English’ new restaurant Cross Bar.

With newly hired merchandise buyer Melanie Drake, formerly of Boogie’s Retail in Aspen, CO and branding consultant Sven Kaufmann, the creative director and founder of the Zurich-based Mountains & Hills, Menashe hopes to exude Limelight as a “fashion-forward” bent with sophisticated and chic aesthetics.

The renovations, including darker walls and dimmer lights, will compliment the church’s rural English design and its stained glass windows. Music will be integrated throughout the department store by a live DJ.