The Future Of The Flower District Is Up In The Air As New Developments Grow On West 28th Street

The Flower District on West 28th Street faces increasing competition from new hotel developments

The single-purpose commercial district is a staple of the city’s urban patchwork, whether it is the Diamond District at 47th Street and Fifth Avenue in Midtown, the Lighting District along the Bowery, or the former Radio Row in Lower Manhattan. Among these spaces, the Flower District in Midtown South is among the most unique. The concrete jungle meets the green jungle on sidewalks lined with rows of flowers and shrubbery. Yet while the District has been around for over a century, ongoing transformations are shaking its identity to the core.

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8 Comments on "The Future Of The Flower District Is Up In The Air As New Developments Grow On West 28th Street"

  1. Better headline: “Encroaching development a perennial issue for the Flower District.”


  2. This is awful. Not only are we losing these charming, human-scaled buildings filled with local businesses that actually help people and help the city, we get ugly hotels filled with tourists. Great.

  3. While I’m glad someone was concerned enough to write this piece about the flower district I think they lack an understanding of the volume of product usually packed in large boxes and buckets that move in and out of the district ona daily basis. Vans and trucks are loaded and unloaded which makes a pedestrian space or a single use high rise with showrooms inpractical. I hope there is a hope for saving the flower district. It is not a curiosity but the lifeblood for thousands who work in this industry.

    • Vitali Ogorodnikov | November 18, 2015 at 5:34 pm |

      Thanks for the input, Amy. You’re bringing up a good point, yet when I mentioned the Flower Center, I was thinking that deliveries would be made via a dedicated loading bay inside the building as it is done with most large office and showroom buildings, rather than anything involving sidewalk delivery. Of course, this is just a very hypothetical idea on my end, and a truck bay presents its own traffic and streetscape challenges.

  4. This is fantastic news – – – that district is an eyesore and disgusting on so many levels

    • This ” disgusting eyesore” is vital to an entire industry that provides all the beautiful flowers for most of the tri state area. I think most of the new high rises that are being slapped up,like the generic hotels encroaching this distric, are an eyesore . New York is more than just a playground for those with money.

      • New York is certainly more than just a playground for those with money, and while change can be difficult to accept, the alterations to the Flower District are actually making it (and NYC) more accessible to those without gobs of cash, given that the hotels now rising are generally budget-oriented.

        While I agree that the Great Wall of Kaufman is a generic monstrosity, I would dispute the notion that this area’s redevelopment is geared towards the wealthy. So in terms of design, the changes may be bad, but in terms of demographics, I do think they will be beneficial.

  5. A more thorough understanding of the flower market is required to make a move. There are many design trades that use it from florists, event designers, fashion designers, interior designers, photographers, gardeners and the public and most of these designers are not willing to go to the Bronx or Queens. It has been tried in the past starting in the late 1980’s with wholesalers moving to LIC and all it did was reduce the footprint off Sixth Avenue and down to it’s current size and put wholesalers out of business because the customer base did not follow. Each Mayor and Planning Commissioner since Koch share the blame for it’s demise as well as a few of the Wholesale Floral Association members greed for more “buyout” money. Unfortunately the wholesale trade has gone online where the larger designers and shops buy direct from Holland, California, South America and coming soon China. Think of all the lost revenue the city will loose without the wholesalers. But we get budget hotels filled with tourists on a budget. If you can call $400.00 per night a budget.
    The absolute worst of all is the broken street wall. It should have never been allowed and should be stopped hence forth. These setbacks are filled most of the day with huge laundry bins, waste, luggage racks and hotel service carts among a few tables seldom used.
    Yes things always change but I believe as a designer and a member of the neighborhood change should be for the better. Otherwise all we get is ugly.

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