Some luxury retailers in the area now include Hermès, Thomas Pink, and Tiffany & Co. names you'd generally associate with the more traditional New York shopping areas of Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue. And the harbinger of high-end residential, a Whole Foods market is set to arrive soon.
This could be good news for Lower Manhattan which is becoming less dependent on financial services at a time when banks and other financial business are cutting back on jobs. Although it's perhaps not great news for the luxury retailers hoping that Wall Street's financial titans would simply hop down the street, fat bonuses in hand. The changing tone of Wall Street is also luring some other types of businesses such as marketing and real estate firms to the area helping to create a more diverse neighborhood. In 1993 47% of the jobs in the area were in financial services but by 2006 the number was down to 30% and is likely to fall further. Wall Street will remain New York's financial mecca but it's nice to see that sea of dark suits and gray buildings getting a little more color.