It might be said that Goldman Sachs has a way of transforming everything that it touches, including, it would seem, Battery Park City, where the company has spawned a fledgling village adjacent to its headquarters.
After the heady financial services firm opened its 43-story headquarters (a $2.1 billion investment located by Vesey and Murray streets.) in October 2009, it quickly summoned a host of businesses and boutiques to cater to the needs and whims of its commerce-savvy employees, The New York Times reports.
In Battery Park City, Goldman is king. Traveling Goldman employees can seek overnight stays in a Goldman-owned hotel, outfitted with special accommodations to best suit the Goldman employee.
Parking? Not a problem. The firm purchased a parking garage at the Riverhouse condominium nearby. And of course it also offers valet parking.
As for eateries, Goldman employees have no shortage of options to suit their luxury-loving palates and their expense accounts.
After Danny Meyer, a New York restaurateur who leads the Union Square Hospitality Group, opened three restaurants in the vicinity to satiate the firm’s daily appetite, he began tweaking the menus to better cater to the Goldman employees.
At his restaurant Blue Smoke, Mr. Meyer began offering $25 takeout dinners after Mr. Meyer learned Goldman employees receive $25 meal vouchers, The Times reports.
And if an employee needs a post-grub haircut or eye checkup, Goldman has that covered too.
Salvatore Anzalone once worked at a barbershop that catered solely to Goldman clientele. The barbershop, which now resides in the Conrad lobby, serves mostly Goldman clientele, but he occasionally clips the random passerby.
As for eye appointments, an optometrist works at the Artsee Eyewear store within walking distance of employees, who account for about 70 percent of Artsee’s business.
Anthony Roche, the chief operating officer of Battery Place Market told The Times that 70 to 80 percent of his store’s business is from Goldman. And even the market’s hours are dictated by the schedules of the overworked businessmen—6 a.m. to 1 a.m.
“That’s for the bankers working overnight,” Mr. Roche told The Times. “There’s a rush from 10 at night until 1. They’ll buy some fresh salmon with sides or one of our combo meals.”
But while these businesses have all been manipulated by the Goldman touch and the allure of steady sales, they must also serve the non-Goldman customer who shops sans meal voucher.
“We live in the shadow of the Goldman empire, but we have to think beyond Goldman,” Alan Phillips, owner of three restaurants on the Goldman premises, told The Times. Although Mr. Phillips admitted that his three restaurants reel in about 60 percent of their business from Goldman employees.
The plethora of businesses that have cropped up around the Goldman empire have also sparked some worry among Battery Park residents.
“We were concerned it would become a commercial dead man’s zone,” Anthony Notaro, a community leader, told The Times. “It’s turned out to be the opposite.”
Which is, we suppose, a good thing, as Goldman continues to erect its bustling empire along the neighborhood’s streets.