Thursday, August 30, 2012

"Blighted" Modell's store is doing just fine, thanks to arena proximity

Would you believe that a "blighted" property is now doing well, as the Modell's across from the Barclays Center is getting renovated rather than razed?

MetroFocus reports, in NYC’s Oldest Sports Retailer & Newest Team Play Off Each Other:
Since that day, business has boomed for the Park Slope retailer. According to store manager Nick Chang, the store sold out of 80 percent of its Brooklyn Nets stock that day and scrambled to receive more merchandise from its other Brooklyn and Manhattan locations.

Since the Brooklyn Nets sportswear debuted in April 2012, the Modell's Sporting Good Store on Flatbush Ave., across from the Barclays Center, has greatly increased its square footage for licensed goods.
Sales have been good ever since. This summer, the store eliminated 50 percent of its stockroom to dedicate more selling room floor. New York Yankees, Mets, Jets and Giants jerseys are sidelined to a small area, separated by an aisle to the licensed sportwear area now occupied solely by black, white and grey Brooklyn Nets gear, mostly produced by Adidas and UNK. The store’s licensed area square footage has grown 30 times since the simple logo of a “B” within a basketball hit the market.

From the Blight Study

According to the July Atlantic Yards 2006 Blight Study conducted for the Empire State Development Corporation, both the Modell's store and its neighbor, P.C. Richard, are blighted because they're too small and occupy a block long designated for redevelopment as part of the Atlantic Terminal Urban Renewal Area (ATURA):
Block 927 is located within ATURA, an area that, as described above, was found by the City to be blighted over 40 years ago. The block is zoned C6-2, a zoning designation that allows for a wide range of high-bulk commercial uses requiring a central location (see Figure 7). C6 districts typically accommodate uses such as corporate headquarters, large hotels, entertainment facilities, and mixed use buildings containing residential, retail, or other commercial uses...
Underutilization
As indicated above, lot 16 is in a C6-2 zoning district with an FAR of 6.0. The lot, situated at the corner of 4th Avenue and Atlantic Avenue, occupies a highly visible location in the shopping and employment concentration that is anchored by Atlantic Terminal and Atlantic Center. Although the 23,150 sf lot can accommodate up to 138,920 zsf of built space under current zoning, it hosts a single-story 16,950 gsf building, utilizing only about 12 percent of the lot’s development potential. At the time the lot was developed, the market conditions would not support a large-scale development using all of the development rights. As illustrated in Photograph B and discussed above under the profile for Block 927, lot 16, the one-story Modell’s building stands in stark contrast to the 34-story Williamsburg Savings Bank building (left), and the four stories of retail (center) and ten stories of office space (right) at Atlantic Terminal. Given its key location in the midst of one of the largest commercial districts in Brooklyn, lot 16 is critically underutilized.
Now that the market is different, presumably a rezoning could have done the trick, as well. Instead, the state overrode zoning so Forest City Ratner can build a tower--once 40 stories, no 25 stories--at the site. There's no plan yet to build it.

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