The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced Turnstyle – the collection of small businesses in the Columbus Circle subway station – will reopen to the public, beginning Wednesday, October 14, 2020. Buoyed by colorful murals created by members of the Black Artists Collective, including selections by celebrity street artist Gazoo, the block-long retail complex will again feature shopping and a global array of New York food vendors for grab-and-go take-out. All stores at Turnstyle have been retrofitted to ensure proper social distancing. In addition, masks are required while traveling through the corridor, as well as while riding on public transit, and hand sanitizer dispensers are available throughout the space.
To ensure these businesses are set up for continued success, the MTA will be proposing to the MTA Board this month a package that would provide financial relief to tenants, including those at Turnstyle, until ridership returns. Lease modifications under consideration include a plan to change fixed rent to a structure based on a percentage of business’ revenues and abating a portion of rent payments that had been previously deferred. National chains and banks would be excluded from these modifications. The MTA is committed to working with tenants to provide a successful path forward, while also protecting taxpayers by maximizing revenue to support its transportation mission.
“The reopening of Turnstyle is an important moment for our customers and for New York City as the economy rebuilds,” said Janno Lieber, President of MTA Construction & Development. “As we welcome restaurant and retail owners, along with our customers, safety remains a priority — from wearing masks to social distancing. Rebooting our economy will help the MTA and the region recover and we’re delighted to see Turnstyle reopening.”
“Turnstyle is where small business entrepreneurs are able to celebrate their creativity and vision,” said Susan Fine, Turnstyle’s developer. “This is where you will find extraordinary culinary variety, from Russian and Chinese dumplings, to sushi, empanadas, hummus, paella, pizza, bubble tea, and so much more. The MTA has provided us with a one-of-a-kind opportunity to bring a special amenity to commuters, workers and neighbors, and we are following state laws and guidelines to ensure everyone is safe coming back. This is yet another example of their unwavering confidence in the merits of our City.”
Among the 20 stores scheduled for the first round of re-openings are Lisa’s Dumplings, Dylan’s Candy, Champion Pizza, Yong Kang, Boil Boil Ramen, Daa Dumplings, Criollas Empanadas, Bolivian Llama Party, Pressed Juicery, Taheni, Hotel Chocolat, Doughnuttery, Panda Bubble Tea, Woops, and EZ Paella. In addition, QB House will continue to style hair with fast turnarounds and flare, and Underground Wine will showcase its sophisticated selections by the bottle and case. Also returning are Lush Soaps, Dog & Co., and phone gear purveyor Cellaris.
Turnstyle may be reached directly from 1-A-B-C-D trains, or from street entrances at Eighth Avenue and 57th and 58th Streets.
The MTA continues aggressively cleaning and disinfecting trains and stations to ensure all employees and customers are safe. To date, the MTA has made available six million masks provided by the State and the City to its customers who can also pick one up as they enter the subway system. Additionally, there is a PPE vending machine at the Columbus Circle hub and the MTA has distributed 750,000 mini-bottles of NYC Clean Hand Sanitizer to riders.
“EZ Paella was originally scheduled to open the day the city shut down because of the pandemic, said Alex del Gallego, co-owner of EZ Paella. “Through the support of our Turnstyle “family,” we were able to finally open in mid-September and are already seeing a positive future.”
“We were among the earlier food vendors here, having opened in August 2017, and were fortunate to get the space at the opening entrance of the corridor,” said Pooja C. Danay, co-founder of Woops! (Macarons). “It has been a wonderful experience and we are very excited about the reopening.”
“When we opened here in 2018 there was a tremendous business, primarily, from the office workers throughout the area,” said Hanza Deib, co-owner of Taheni Mediterranean Grill. “We look forward to seeing the return of our old customers as the city reopens.”
“Today we’re back as a rebirth and as a reopening of our business and of the Turnstyle Market,” said Evan Feldman, founder of Doughnuttery. “I know that the reason we came here, beause of the unique location and the unique mix of tourists, locals, commuters and students – you can’t find that anywhere else.”
Turnstyle is New York City’s most innovative underground marketplace. The 325-foot-long passageway, which opened spring 2016, is a center for food, fashion and fun. Situated below Columbus Circle at Eighth Avenue, between 57th to 58th Streets, the corridor also leads directly to the subway hub. Turnstyle is home to small businesses, fast-casual dining options, nationally recognized brands and rotating pop-ups presented by designers, artisans and artists. Turnstyle’s unique and appealing shops, kiosks and eateries elevate the commuting and neighborhood experience in Midtown Manhattan.