Main | Monday, October 19, 2009

Limelight Mini-Mall Almost Ready

As I mentioned here many months ago, NYC's notorious Limelight nightclub, the disco that brought the world club kids and the occasional decapitated drug dealer, is being transformed into an "upscale" mini-mall. Yesterday the Daily News updated us on the process.
Even Jesus is for sale at the new Limelight Marketplace. The former Chelsea church that became one of the city's most notorious nightclubs is being transformed yet again - this time, into a cathedral of capitalism. The new high-brow indoor bazaar opens in March, and the Daily News got the first peak inside. "It's Disney World meets Manhattan," said Marketplace CEO Jack Menashe, standing in the middle of the Street of Shops - a replica of London's Covent Garden shopping district. Inside, not much remains of the building's past - both holy and unholy - except two dozen 19th-century stained glass windows depicting Jesus and a host of saints. Workers discovered the windows hidden under 30 inches of drywall while renovating in April. "We built these shops around these windows," Menashe said. But being nearer to Jesus doesn't come free: Shops will have to pay a premium to be located by the religious treasures. "It is a real destination. People want to see these windows," Menashe said. The windows date back to 1844, when the Sixth Ave. landmark was the Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion, said Marketplace designer James Mansour.
Reportedly, 44 out of the Limelight's 60 retail spaces have "deals in motion." Neighborhood activists, who worked unsuccessfully for 20 years in their quest to close the Limelight, are worried that the building will still be used as a party space.

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