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The East River Plaza shopping center might have opened for business in November, but it won't really achieve power mall status until this Sunday, when Manhattan's first Target opens at 8am. We swear we're not being impossible Target snobs with that claim: The mall itself only just held its ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday, despite having housed a Costco and a Best Buy for months now. Yesterday afternoon we got a sneak peek at the place, and last night a cohort of local community leaders, Target employees, famous people, and fashion writers celebrated the upcoming opening with an in-store party. The early verdict: This is going to be big.
Ever since the Plaza opened, there's been controversy over the way it fits into its East Harlem neighborhood. Target has made a serious effort to impress its new neighbors with bilingual signage, a stock of traditionally Hispanic foods, and all sorts of cultural offerings (DVDs, music, etc) in Spanish. There's also huge fresh produce section, which is great news for an area of the city known for its lack of supermarkets.
Even the limited-edition designer collaborations on offer for the opening have Harlem ties. Target is donating 5% of its proceeds from the collabs to local non-profits. Stephen Burrows's colorblocked dresses will help support the library at The Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem, kitchenwares by celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson will go to Harlem PS 180, and towels and bathing suits by Isabel and Ruben Toledo will benefit el Museo del Barrio. Everything costs under $35 and it's all extremely bright and cheery, so we're guessing it'll go fast once the store opens this Sunday.
· East River Plaza Officially Opens For Big-Box Business [NY1]
· Target Comes to Manhattan: A Sneak Peek [Runnin' Scared]
· Bikinis, Bananas and Color Blocks in the Harlem Target Collabs [Racked NY]