To christen the re-purposed church's big debut, vendors from Lulu's to Havaianas turned out for an opening bash. Even Richie Rich reminisced about the space's history: "It's inspiring to people still."
The Limelight Marketplace is now open at 20th Street and Sixth Avenue, where church building details poke through amongst the slick new tiling and individualized shop facades.
The space really exudes light -- from the chandeliers at the entranceway and up to the bright track lighting hung up in the buttresses of soaring gothic ceilings.
Thursday night's party drew crowds for free-flowing champagne and sugary treats. As Richie Rich told us in the mist of the masses, "It's kind of amazing and nostalgic to be here. It was cool with, like, all the glitter and fun when it was a club, lines around the block with people waiting to be in here, but it's so cool now it's a shopping mall."
The open-air layout makes the space simultaneously cavernous and intimate.
The balconies throughout the space were once home to dancing and other illicit activities, but are now busy shopping floors.
It's Sugar alright -- the facade of the candy store anchor is flanked by two candy-clad sexpot mannequins and framed by a jelly bean mosaic border. A Havaianas kiosk takes front and center just outside.
Jumbo gummy bears at It's Sugar. They cost $12 each.
Candy-coated mannequins rest atop It's Sugar, watching over the whole thing.
Even pets can get in on the action, with the posh, gourmet and eco-friendly goodies at
Sophie & Teddy's Doggie Delight.
MarieBelle Chocolate takes a dramatic balcony position at the north end of the Limelight's main promenade.
The second floor apothecary stock includes
Caswell Massey (whose main outpost uptown has now closed) and Cosme Proud, while a level up, J. Sisters set up shop in the former Spider Room.
Havaiana tricks out its kiosk with the brand's only customizable wheel in the U.S. Spin it around, match a sole to a thong and then pick out a little embellishment compliments of Havaianas. Even if you just choose a ready-made pair from the rack, you can still put a charm on your pair for free.
From its top-floor perch in the eaves, John Wye offers leather goods in every incarnation from belts to dog collars.
Perhaps the Limelight's most unexpected tenant is
Greenpoint's Old Hollywood, tucked away on the second floor next to Tina Tang jewelry, showcasing treasures from woven Acapulco souvenir bags to bronze ribcage pendants and cases of knickknack oddities.
Lulu Denimoperates three different spaces within the Limelight, including one with Ralph Lauren and all shilling signature blinged-out denim and casual duds.
Hunter Boots sits like a weatherproof rainbow in a first-floor nook, complete with Gothic stone detail overhead.