NYC’s Essex Crossing – The Value Driven Mega Project

Essex Crossing was among the most exciting and hotly analyzed real estate projects in the US when it launched in 2018. Not just as a new Manhattan showpiece to attract attention, but also as a progressive attempt to infuse values into mega project development. From commitments to affordable housing to retailers that fit the local landscape, Essex Crossing was promising something more.

We leveraged location analytics to analyze the property’s performance and how it fits within a competitive NYC landscape.

Serious Turnaround

Speaking to the importance of the project was the relative dry spell that the area was sinking into. In 2017, the area saw 3.2M visits overall but was on a serious downward traffic trend. Over the course of the year, visits continued to drop until they reached a bottom in late December.

2018 began at this exceptionally low point but saw the rebound begin with traffic starting to level with 2018 mid-year, and the site truly taking off in September and October. Unsurprisingly, this timing aligned almost perfectly with the launch of several key retail sites including Target and Trader Joe’s alongside the opening of the massive residential property.

Blue highlights 2017 visits, while Red marks the upturn in 2018

The Rise Continues

2019 has brought continued success, with daily traffic peaking on May 18th with over 22,000 visits. Beyond signaling a positive trend, it was a significant improvement over 2018’s April 28th high point of 19,089 visits. Through the first 5 months of 2019, the site has already amassed over 648k visitors and 1.8M visits putting it on pace to surpass the overall visit and unique visitor numbers for 2017 and 2018.

2019 visit numbers have been steadily rising

Local & Diverse

What makes the rise all the more impressive is that the jump comes from the ability to effectively serve its immediate surroundings. While there may be long term potential to drive visitors from far and wide, the initial draw has been local. 36.5% of 2019 visitors to Essex Crossing live within 3 miles of the property, an increase of over 13% from 2018 and 14% from 2017. This speaks to the incredible potential of the property to create sustained interest as the bulk of its initial appeal has come from locals who have the potential and propensity to become high-frequency visitors.

The graph shows the percentage of visits that came from within specific distances. Green marks 2019 visits, Blue 2018, and Red 2017

The area also shows a far greater level of diversity than other major projects including 2019’s hotly anticipated Hudson Yards. Essex Crossing visitors are 45.6% more likely to be Hispanic and 87.3% more likely to be African American than Hudson Yards visitors.


The launch of Essex Crossing was able to breathe new life into the Lower East Side while bucking the norms of a classic mega project. While serving as a potential hub in the area, it has also positioned itself to live up to the lofty expectations of helping infuse values into development. The higher levels of local visitors and diversity show the powerful potential Essex Crossing brings to the table – a mega-project that could live in harmony with its location.

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