The changing face of retail on Flatbush, poised for more change, especially closest to the arena block
Near Seventh Avenue
A few long blocks from the arena site, at Park Place just below the intersection of Flatbush and Seventh avenues, Park Heights Stationers has closed after 25 years, "due to the rising cost of operation," which sure sounds like a rent increase.
As the handwritten comments indicate, the store was appreciated, but as comments on Brownstoner suggest, some thought it too slow to change with the times. (Photos by Norman Oder)
Will it become another chain drug store, just as the Dominican lunch counter across Seventh Avenue became a Duane Reade? Possibly, but it more likely could become an eating and drinking establishment that takes advantage both of the subway access (it's right outside the subway stop for the Q and B trains), and the relative arena proximity.
My information is thirdhand, but a source who spoke to a former employee told me that that employee believed that the landlord sought more rent from an arena-related business.
And who's the landlord? Not any mom and pop. The phone number (as well as ACRIS) leads to a company connected to the heirs of real estate magnate Sol Goldman, a tough businessman and philanthropist, whose estate was subject to a significant battle.
An August 2006 New York Times article about changes on the block slightly further to the south, including the departure of Christie's Jamaican Patties (since moved across Flatbush), found Sol Goldman Investments unresponsive.
Near Sixth Avenue
One of the biggest landlords in Park Slope is the Pintchik family, owners of the eponymous hardware store, whose extensive holdings were detailed in this February 2008 New York Sun article. (More here.)
Closer to Sixth Avenue, they've been overseeing the transition of some very workaday businesses to some higher-end shops, catering clearly to more upscale locals, not any future arena crowd. For example, Hong Kong Pharmacy at 228 Flatbush west of Sixth was replaced in June 2009 by the upscale food purveyor Brooklyn Larder.
A former liquor store on Flatbush yet remains unrented.
Along Bergen Street west of Flatbush, the Pintchiks have presided over a "curation" of some indy businesses, including Bump, an upscale maternity shop; Ride Brooklyn, a bike shop; and Babeland, a classy sex toy shop. (More from the Brooklyn Paper.)
At Flatbush and Sixth
At the southwest corner of Flatbush and Sixth Avenue, the landlord jacked up the rent for Royal Video, a 20-year tenant, leading to its move up the block, as the Daily News reported last November.
Now on the way is a restaurant/lounge/bar called Prime 6, whose website is cryptic, though its earlier incarnation drew some scorn on Brooklynian. This is very close to the Bergen Street stop on the 2/3 train and quite close to the expected southeast entrance on the arena block.
Between Bergen and Dean
The most dramatic changes are almost certainly destined for the north side of Flatbush between Bergen Street, site of the 2/3 stop, and Dean Street, the southwest boundary of the arena block. Likely are sports bars, souvenir shops, and chain restaurants.
This shot shows Flatbush looking south toward the Bergen Street corner.
One building is under renovation, while the postal center still operates.
A building owned by the Pintchiks is for rent.
This space, 233-35 Flatbush, is owned by a company apparently associated with Bergen Tile, which formerly operated two storefronts on Flatbush.
Flatbush and Dean
At the corner of Flatbush and Dean, directly across from the arena block, another Bergen Tile-owned space is for rent; the listing for 215 Flatbush emphasizes its adjacency to the arena. Then again, it's been on the market since at least March 2008.
Across the street, at the northwest corner of Flatbush and Dean, there's arena block demolition and construction. The building in the background was the warehouse-turned-condo that included the residence of Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn leader Daniel Goldstein.
Behind Bergen Tile
In case you're wondering, the parties involved in a September 2006 transaction regarding 233 Flatbush were Park Slope Heritage Development Corp. and Bubby & Pa Properties, both of which have a 19 West 34th Street address in Manhattan.
Similarly, a September 2006 transaction regarding 215 Flatbush involved Park Slope Heritage Development Corp. and Lodz Development, which share the same address. Park Slope Heritage Development Corp. was previously simply named Bergen Tile Paint & Lineoleum Corp.; the latter name was established in August 1959, the former in April 2006.