Sunday, January 26, 2014

Rounding up some retail changes on Flatbush and Fifth avenues within walking distance of arena

Many of the changes on the retail strips in Park Slope and Prospect Heights within walking distance of the Barclays Center are arena-related, given expected new bars and restaurants. But other changes are not, given the ongoing gentrification and the fact that some new businesses, like an expected health club, are aimed at residents.

The overall conclusion: year two of the arena will mean more dramatic changes in retail. Oh, and Washington Avenue at the eastern border of Prospect Heights is the refuge for businesses priced off Flatbush Avenue.

On Flatbush near the arena

In a 1/15/14 article, Barclays, Shake Shack neighbor hits retail market, Real Estate Weekly reported:
The anticipated boom in retail space around the Barclays Center is well under way, according to Michael Pintchik, a landlord with a number of properties in the area.
“People who walk the neighborhood say there doesn’t look like there’s been that much change, but there will be a whirlwind of changes very soon,” he said.
The landlord is about to begin marketing a 3,700 s/f foot retail space directly across from the arena for rent for $250 psf. “It’s a killer space – high ceilings, the whole bit,” he said.
The space abuts 170 Flatbush Avenue where, after months of delays related to building permits, buildout work will soon be underway on the 21st location of Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack, according to Pintchik.
Retail space is now vacant in four of the seven buildings the family owns on Flatbush Avenue between Dean and Bergen Streets, he said, and two of the buildings have been claimed by “a very successful and well-know restaurateur based in the city” who is not ready to have his or her name released.
“We’re trying to keep it an eclectic neighborhood,” Pintchik said. Indeed, his family has notably rejected Hooters.

On Flatbush near Seventh Avenue

The New York Daily News on 1/16/14  reported Beloved Flatbush Ave. patty shop, Christie’s Jamaican Patties, shuts doors:
Jamaican beef patty fans were crying into their golden-yellow crust after they learned that a legendary Prospect Heights patty shop shut down last week.
Christie’s Jamaican Patties, a beloved Caribbean food purveyor on Flatbush Ave., quietly closed its doors last week after nearly five decades in business.
...The 48-year-old eatery between Sterling Pl. and Eighth Ave. was best known for its cheap, but hearty Jamaican patties - beef and otherwise - among its range of Caribbean fare.
...Real estate firm Brooklyn Real Property is marketing the small storefront. The monthly asking rent for the space on the rapidly changing avenue is $9,000, a broker said.
...Christie’s isn’t gone for good, though. It will still serve its grub daily out of a food truck parked in front of its former location.
Here's Park Slope on 1/9/14 provided some more history, adding, "Christie's was an inexpensive and tasty option in an area where it's now just about impossible to fill up for $2.50. Here's Park Slope said "their food truck will still be regularly parked on the corner of Seventh Avenue and Ninth Street."

The Daily News on 12/27/13 reported Flatbush Ave. gets facelift as new generation of trendy retail outlets and bars force out mom-and-pops:
A middle-class strip of the high-trafficked corridor in Prospect Heights has become some of Brooklyn’s hottest retail real-estate — spelling painful changes for longtime merchants who say they’ll have to move.
“They’re dismissing all the mom-and-pops,” said Lecia Lee Chee, who plans to pack up Little Miss Muffin ‘N’ Her Stuffin after 20 years selling pastries and meat patties just off the avenue on Park Place.
The half-mile between the Barclays Center and Grand Army Plaza is one of Brooklyn’s most sought-after commercial arteries, brokers say. Rental prices have multiplied as blue-collar mainstays give way to a new generation of chain retailers and trendier restaurants.
Little Miss Muffin survived the early upheaval surrounding Barclays, but gentrification continues to push farther into the low-rise neighborhood that sits well beyond the arena crowds.
Now, at least six businesses are falling prey as their landlord looks to upgrade a cluster of buildings that wrap around Flatubush Ave. onto Park Place.
Lee Chee received a letter in September from landlord Stuart Venner, of Vlacke Bos LLC, informing her she would have to leave. Venner is clearing out the entire building at the corner of Flatbush and Park Place, including El Gran Castillo de Jagua restaurant — a Brooklyn favorite for nearly 40 years.
What's next?
A new urgent care office is set to take over part of the space, and renderings included with a real estate listing suggest sleek retail shops and a gym as possible uses — even though there is an existing gym, Crunch, just across the street.
A photo is here. I walked by yesterday and saw a sign in the window of Little Miss Muffin; they're moving to 768 Washington Avenue.

Here's Park Slope on 1/14/14 provided an update on El Gran Castillo de Jagua:
[The counterman] added that if they should lose this [court] battle and be forced to vacate the building, they've already worked out a deal to move to 367 Flatbush Avenue, about half a block away, in the space last occupied by a mattress shop.
On Flatbush near Sixth Avenue

Here's Park Slope reported 12/2/13, Closed for Business: Yummy Taco, 245 Flatbush Avenue:
Yummy Taco, which has held down the ground floor of the building surrounded by Flatbush Avenue, Sixth Avenue, and Dean Street, for years, has closed, and a sign in the window states that the business is in the process of moving to 774 Washington Avenue, between Park and Sterling Places.
The nothing-special Tex-Mex joint was certainly nothing fancy, but one of th eincreasingly few inexpensive dining options in the area. Considering that this space is the ground floor of an entire building, it'll be very interesting to see what comes into the space.
See, they're moving to Washington Avenue too, just like Little Miss Muffin, as has Vegetarian Palate.

On Fifth Avenue below Flatbush

The Daily News 1/24/14 reported Chocolate Room on the move in Park Slope:
The Chocolate Room, a wine bar and sweet shack offering up mesquite-flavored candy bars and almond chunky bon bons, will close its doors Sunday after nearly a decade on Fifth Avenue and open at a new location one block north.
“We’re trying to move forward, and get this business closed and then open,” co-owner Naomi Josepher told the News.
She and Jon Payson opened their combination cafe and retail business in 2005 near St. Marks Place and quickly became a Brooklyn favorite. Just two weeks ago, the city’s tourism agency highlighted the shop as a must-see in Park Slope.
But a rent increase of nearly six times their current lease has forced Josepher and Payson to abandon their storefront and scramble to open a new space, they said.
“We were forced out of this shop,” Josepher said. “Of course, it was frustrating and disappointing.”
They spent more than a year searching for a new spot. Real estate prices have soared in northern Park Slope nabes as developers remake the area next to the Barclays Center.
Payson said they looked at commercial spaces as far away as Crown Heights and Windsor Terrace, before a neighbor offered them a bigger space just a short walk across St. Marks Avenue, at 51 5th Ave., from their current location.
Here's Park Slope reported 9/20/13:
Four months after being put on the market, one of the oldest businesses in the neighborhood and one of the only remaining craftsmen's workshops east of Fourth Avenue, Mega Glass and Sashes, on Fifth between St. Marks and Bergen, will officially be closing its doors soon, and The Chocolate Room, the popular cafe a block away devoted entirely to chocolate, will be moving in.
More on Fifth

And in a sign of changes on Fifth Avenue, Here's Park Slope reported 9/3/13:
Mavi Jeans opened on Saturday in the 2,400 square foot space that was last home to a check cashing space and pizza parlor, on the prime, high-rent corner of Fifth Avenue and Union Street. We first reported here in July that it would be moving into the double-wide storefront, right across the street from its sister business, Brooklyn Industries.
Here's a 7/31/13 report:
Park Slope's newest bar, Duke of Montrose, opened last night on the corner of Fifth and Bergen, in the space vacated last June by Trade Winds Furniture. It's a full-on Scottish pub, with a giant selection of Scotch whiskys, Scottish beers, and soon, Scottish food.

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