The opening of the Crystal Bridges Museum of Art in Bentonville Arkansas reminded me of the power a strong art museum has in attracting the crowds…. The Whitney Museum currently attracts 300,000 visitors annually to its uptown location. When the new Whitney opens on the West Side in the Meatpacking District, those 300,000 visitors will walk through the neighborhood…thats about 25,000 per months or over 800 new visitors a day. Is the area prepared for this? Certainly this will become a major tourist attraction, combining shopping in the Meatpacking District, a visit to the Whitney, followed by a stroll up the Highline Park to visit more of the contemporary galleries in West Chelsea. Maybe pop into the new Pier 57 too?
While what has happened on the West side to date is pretty revolutionary (The Highline, Hudson Parks, The Standard, Americano and Dream Hotels, the A-grade residential buildings such as 100, 200 Eleventh Avenue, the three Richard Meier Towers, The Superior Ink bulding, the 300+ art galleries), I feel what is coming over the next two to three years will make the West side of Manhattan, from Greenwich Village to northern West Chelsea truly the PLATINUM MILE, surpassing anyone’s expectations. It will represent a quality of life never seen before in Manhattan with a unique mix of culture, parks and architectural splendor this city has never known.