Skip to main content

Featured Post

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what's coming + FAQ (pinned post)

Crisis curtails or (temporarily) closes retail outlets, including Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park tenants, some of which are fundraising

The coronavirus crisis is closing or curtailing an enormous swath of retail outlets, and those associated with Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park are among those affected.

The 550 Vanderbilt Avenue tower at Dean Street has three retail outlets, with another space not yet rented. Beer Street South had the bad luck to open in mid-February (expanding from a small space in Williamsburg), less than a month before the crisis. It's offering beer, wine, and cider for pick-up, from 2-8 pm daily, as noted in its Instagram.

The solo bakery cafe Ciao Gloria, however, is "closed for the time being," according to its Instagram, and is aiming to raise $40,000 on GoFundMe to stay afloat:
All that momentum came to a screeching halt on March 17th when I made the difficult decision to close the doors and let go of the entire staff of our sunny little bakery café for the safety of our employees, our building and our community at large. We hope that our temporary closure has helped in keeping COVID-19 at bay and that we will therefore be able to open again in some form sooner rather than later.
We know we are not alone in this. Thousands upon thousands of cafés and restaurants are suffering right now. and many of us are in a state of limbo waiting to see if they will be able to receive PPP or EIDL funding.
Indeed, New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells this week made Ciao Gloria and owner Renato Poliafito--who previously survived Superstorm Sandy's impact on his previous business, the bakery Baked in Red Hook--Exhibit A in the story of small players unable to gain emergency federal funding, while bigger fish succeed.

Ice cream gyrations

Though a majority of Van Leeuwen ice cream shops in New York City are closed, the space at 550 Vanderbilt remains open for pick-up and delivery. As of March 27, the local (plus L.A.) mini-chain had delivered over 471 gallons of ice cream to 29 hospitals in New York, according to their Instagram.

By the way, all branches of Ample Hills ice cream, including the one two blocks away down Vanderbilt, are closed, "due to the ongoing health crisis," according to the Ample Hills web site.

Surely another factor is the mini-chain's ongoing bankruptcy; Eater yesterday reported that Ample Hills has 26 suitors, including giant Unilever (owner of Ben & Jerry's), Focus Brands (owner of Cinnabon), and even Van Leeuwen, which does have venture capital.

Down the block

Down Dean Street at 535 Carlton Avenue is the ceramics studio BKLYN Clay, which is closed, offering YouTube tutorials, and running fundraisers for its teachers. From yesterday's Instagram:
All funds go directly to the BKLYN CLAY Teachers who are out of work due to the #CoronavirusPandemic.
...We are a small, self-funded, women owned business in our first year and a half of operations. Like many small businesses, we don’t have investors or backers with deep pockets. Without your support, we simply wouldn’t be able to reopen after this period. Your commitment during this time will not be forgotten. We will survive and reinvent BKLYN CLAY to keep our community thriving and safe. We have applied for every grant and loan possible, but even if we do get support from some of these sources, it will only be a drop in the bucket. Also, it’s important to be clear that these funds cannot be used to pay freelance employees or independent contractors—like our teachers.
At the arena block

The buildings flanking the Barclays Center have retail space but no ground-floor tenants. (I'm omitting the medical facility at 38 Sixth, which has a ground-floor entrance but space mostly upstairs.)

At the most recent Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Quality of Life meeting, eons ago in early March, Greenland Forest City Partners rep Scott Solish said that a retail tenant should soon be announced for one of the two spaces at 38 Sixth; that obviously has been delayed, at best.

Greenland Forest City doesn't own or operate 461 Dean Street, but that tower is still waiting for a ground-floor retail tenant, as is the building across the street, Heritage Dean Street (which is unrelated to Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park). I wrote in January 2019, more than a year ago, about that retail deficit.

At the Barclays Center, as far as I know, the team store is closed (no games, few passers-by) and other Flatbush Avenue retail spaces still await tenants.

Comments