Limelight Marketplace in Manhattan to become a department store

New York City -- Limelight Marketplace, an indoor mall in Manhattan, is getting a major -- and costly -- makeover. The shopping venue will re-launch in September as a three-story department store called Limelight. Renovation costs will total almost $4 million.

"We want to display Limelight as a 'fashion-forward' venue with sophisticated and modish aesthetics," said developer and owner Jack Menashe. "The restored architecture makes Limelight the distinctive spot that it is -- allowing for an exciting shopping experience.”

Opened amid much fanfare last May, Limelight Markeplace is located in a landmark deconsecrated chuch that housed a famous nightclub (The Limelight) from 1983 to 2001. Developer and owner Jack Menashe converted the building into a 30,000-sq.-ft. urban mall with an eclectic mix of boutique tenants. According to reports, the center has suffered from lack of traffic since it opened.

Menashe said he  determined that the space was too small for the 40-vendor shopping center and decided to convert it into a single department store that will feature such brands such as Bed Stu, PRPS, Nudie Jeans and James Perse, as well as eateries Grimaldi's and Todd English's CrossBar. In a Wall Street Journal article, he described his upcoming retail venture as “not unlike Barneys.”

The space will be made over with darker walls and dimmer lights to complement the building’s design and stained glass windows.

Limelight has hired ad shop Conversation to drive marketing efforts for the new venue.