By Tamera Adams

Like a fashion victim on a makeover show, downtown Manhattan's financial district is being revamped and upgraded in a manner that's so chic it's drawing all the beautiful people and the retailers that help them get that way. As a New York City transplant originally from the Washington, D.C. area, my first job in Manhattan was located near Wall Street, an area short on sophisticated shopping back in the late 90s.

During a slightly extended lunch hour, you could dash to shops in or around the pavilion at South Street Seaport or in the underground concourse at the World Trade Center. But the trip left little time for browsing, which you definitely needed if you were looking for high-end goods.

Upscale-fashion aficionados can now bid those days good-bye. The influx of luxury retailers looking for space in the Wall Street area has been steadily growing. In 2005, BMW opened a showroom in the area. This past Thursday, Hermes opened a location on Broad Street. And today, the district gets a new Thomas Pink store. The organic grocer Whole Foods is on the way along with jeweler Tiffany and Co.

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