Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Barclays Center's impact on its retail neighbors: some fear rising rents, others welcome increased traffic

A couple of student journalism projects have tried to assess the impact of the Barclays Center on its neighbors, mainly retail ones. Such anecdotal takes have their place, but they can't serve as evaluations of the arena's impact, which would include an assessments of costs and subsidies.

Brooklyn College's Brooklyn News Services, on 12/14/12, offered For business, it’s survival of the fittest after Barclays Center opens

The gist: for the 21-year Fulani Boutique and the clothing store Mondini, rising rents will force a relocation. An electronics store is wary, as is a vitamin store. Clothing store Versailles is optimistic.

Kulushkät Falafel, which has a ten-year lease on Dean Street near Fifth Avenue, has extended hours, and neighbor Va Beh is pleased by increased traffic. Veteran Fifth Avenue restaurant El Viejo Yayo has spent money on improvements and added dishes, but is pleased with new customers.

Oh, and Modell's is doing well.

All in all, the improvements and turnover, according to Forest City spokesman Joe DePlasco, are "a sign of economic vitality, something that’s good for the borough." But "economic vitality" isn't a cost-benefit analysis.

Another take

In The Barclays Center: An Economic Snapshot, 12/11/12, an NYU grad student wrote, "Barclays Center Pinpoints Local Winners and Losers in Business."

This article at least recognizes the ongoing gentrification, and the way the arena has changed that:
“You might have expected a small business to come in, entrepreneurs to come in, everything else,” [Gib] Veconi [of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council] says. “Instead, it’s really the landlords and the national brands that will move in there that are going to be the most benefited.”
Two business owners quoted in the earlier article--from Fulani Boutique and Furniture House--lament the increased rents.

Kulushkät and neighbor Cake Ambiance are optimistic, as is the apparel store Brooklyn Rock.

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