A CB8 bump in the road for Mekelburg's at 535 Carlton; would another tenant be (as per Williamsburg project) a restaurant?
The committee overseeing liquor licenses dialed back on the application, which was seeking a 2 am closing time on weekdays/Sunday, and 4 am on Friday and Saturday, by stipulating a 3 am weekend closure, plus weekend security.
But at a meeting 12/14/17, as indicated in a letter below, the full board voted unanimously to deny support for the overall application and the stipulations. It cited concern from building and neighborhood residents regarding "noise, deliveries, trash collection and rodent abatement, and disruptive presence of an eating and drinking establishment with late hours in an otherwise quiet, residential area."
That doesn't necessarily have weight with the State Liquor Authority (SLA), which need not listen to community boards. And the strategy to not support the stipulations does remove a slight bit of leverage.
Still, it sets a stake in the ground, and could pressure the landlord too. One neighbor, who spoke to the board, Susan Marcus, told me by email:
I stated that 535 Carlton was a unique development as a public/ private partnership, and the public’s opinion ought to be considered. The public opinion with respect to Mekelburg’s proposed operating hours is clear and emphatic. In short order - with only one week’s notice - three volunteers gathered 150 petition signatures requesting more compatible opening hours for a quiet residential street. I requested that the board’s vote reflect the community’s concerns, which would communicate to both the developer and the proposed tenant that the community board did not support a tenant with Mekelburg’s hours.Landlord, Greenland Forest City Partners surely seeks a balance: tenants that can both pay their bills and be good neighbors, as magnets for other retail and residential tenants. So it could perhaps put a stipulation in the lease--though Mekelburg's has apparently said its business model requires that 4 am closing time.
No representative of Mekelburg's was present at the CB 8 meeting--the crucial hurdle for them is the SLA. (No hearing at the SLA will be scheduled, unless the SLA is convinced to intervene, which is unlikely without a further groundswell.)
What's else is coming?
What's coming to the rest of the retail space at the four towers in Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park:535 Carlton and 550 Vanderbilt on the southeast block, plus the two completed towers on the arena block. 461 Dean and 38 Sixth?
Well, we don't know yet, and it's taken a while. No tenants have been announced, though negotiations are surely ongoing, and retail brokers--and potential tenants--surely are aware of the availabilities.
As I wrote, that may reflect lingering construction in those buildings and the longer-term commitment of a retail lease, which can be contingent on a custom buildout, as well as the promise of "neighborhood retail."
I suspect at least one tenant will be a restaurant. Why? Well, consider the precedent of the Domino Sugar Factory development in Williamsburg. At 325 Kent, the first Domino building to open, anchor tenant Mekelburg's (its second location, after a small operation in Clinton Hill) will be joined by a restaurant developed by Chef Missy Robbins, known for Lilia in another part of the neighborhood.
But that leaves a lot more retail spaces to fill, and maybe some more late-night liquor license applications.
Brooklyn Community Board 8 Letter to SLA on Mekelburg's, Dec. 19, 2017 by Norman Oder on Scribd