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fulton mall

Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, Food, News, Real Estate

Shake Shack’s Downtown Brooklyn Success Inspires Second BK Locale

February 12, 2013

Downtown Brooklyn’s Shake Shake inarguably changed the face & fortunes of the once-sagging Fulton Mall, convincing many Heights residents to cross Court Street for the first time in years (decades?). Since its December 2011 opening, the burger joint has led to a renaissance, bringing the likes of Starbucks, Brooklyn Industries, H&M, Century 21, Gap, Seattle’s Best, TJ Maxx, Raymour & Flannigan… and on and on…

Union Square Hospitality Group has confirmed a second Shake Shack in Brooklyn this fall at 170 Flatbush Avenue, across from the 18,200-seat Barclays Center, which BHB first tipped in September.

Grub Street reports that the chain is expanding this year in London and Istanbul, and may be coming to the Upper West Side, in addition to Manhattan locations in Madison Square Park and Midtown.

In a press release, Shack Shack acclaims its “modern day roadside” burger stand known for all-natural burgers, flat-top dogs, frozen custard, beer, wine and more.” CEO Randy Garutti says, “Our second Brooklyn location will be directly across from the Barclays Center and plant us firmly within walking distance of several neighborhoods from Park Slope to Fort Greene. New York City is our hometown, and the Shack will be the place where New Yorkers can come together to celebrate the best of Brooklyn’s thriving culture, sports and entertainment.” (Photo: Brownstoner)

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Arts and Entertainment, Downtown Brooklyn

NY Daily News Dedicates a Mighty 3 Paragraphs to “My Brooklyn”

January 4, 2013

No matter where you stand on the gentrification/improvement of Downtown Brooklyn battle, Elizabeth Weitzman’s 3 paragraph review in today’s New York Daily News of “My Brooklyn”, Kelly Anderson’s Fulton Mall documentary feels a little light.

Judge for yourself:

How ironic that the primary flaw in “My Brooklyn” is the insistent presence of director Kelly Anderson. Anderson is a white, middle-class Brooklynite who has noticed the shifting socio-economic makeup of her brownstone neighborhoods, and wonders what price the borough is paying for gentrification.
It’s an excellent question, and when Anderson allows the experts — or simply those most deeply impacted by the changes — to speak, the film has a powerful urgency. Most interesting is the focus on the Fulton Mall, in which businesses primarily owned and patronized by African-Americans are increasingly being displaced by corporate interests.
But every time we start to learn something about the city’s political process or cultural divisions, Anderson relates it back to her own personal experience. At first, it’s simply an irritating distraction. As she continues to insert herself into this urban history, however, it begins to feel like an uncomfortable reflection of the kind of encroachment the film itself decries.

From the Web

Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, Landmark Preservation

WSJ: The Long & Storied History Of Gage & Tollner At 374 Fulton Street

October 23, 2012

The storied locale that housed Gage & Tollner restaurant from 1892 through the beginning of the millennium is both an endearing and bittersweet tale of Downtown Brooklyn’s history. New York City landmarked the eatery’s exterior in 1974 and a year later, its interior. It was the first landmarked dining room and the city’s third interior landmark of any kind. The first two were the New York Public Library and Grant’s Tomb.

In a lengthy piece in the Wall Street Journal, writer Barry Newman discusses the 120-year-old heritage of 374 Fulton Street, from the seafood restaurant owner’s purchase of the building in 1919 to its eventual demise. WSJ offers: In 1976, Fulton Street became a pedestrian mall, with no automobile traffic. The streets were scary, and the old crowd began eating elsewhere.” In 1985 then-owner Ed Dewey decided to sell the famous destination. In 1995, it filed for bankruptcy, before closing around 2004.

Since, it has held T.G.I. Friday’s, which lasted until 2007. Arby’s came next, in January 2010. It endured for just eight months. And in the summer of 2011, a discount costume jewelry store opened in the spot. WJS says, “The Landmarks commission says the landlord asked for a permit to make alterations after they were made. It denied the application for lack of detail and, this month, issued a violation. The commission, still lacking a satisfactory response, has issued another violation that can lead to a fine of $5,000 a day.”

Meanwhile, many of the original lighting fixtures from Gage & Tollner were stolen. Some mirrors and arches are said to survive behind bright pink panels. And what of the famous eatery that is no longer? Its last owners, Peter Aschkenasy and Joe Chirico still own the name. The latter says he’d like to reopen the restaurant “in a place where you can get to the front door.” And its Landmarked decor? In New York, he says, a crew can “replicate that in no time.” (Photo: Chuck Taylor/July 2010)

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Downtown Brooklyn, History, Real Estate

Boomtown: BK’s Fulton Mall Revival A Bona Fide National Story

September 3, 2012

When The New York Times pens a story on the revitalization of Downtown Brooklyn’s Fulton Mall, it heralds a watermark moment: sort of like, if the Times sniffs it as a reality, the revival has got to have credence. Its August 28 piece announced “National Retailers Discover a Brooklyn Mall.” Mind you—to toot our own horn—the Brooklyn Heights Blog has been heralding the Mall’s shift from low-budget chains to national retailers month by month, and more recently, week after week, for the past year.

The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership’s $300 million public improvements initiative to remake the once-flailing shopping mecca got the ball rolling at the beginning of the decade after 30 years of neglect, with newly paved streets and traffic patterns, wider sidewalks, new streetlights and bus terminals. Much credit also has to go to Shake Shack, whose opening in December 2011 was perhaps the landmark launch of a chain willing to take a chance on the promise of Fulton Mall.

And just look at it now. This year alone, the 17-block walkway has welcomed (or soon will): Gap Factory Outlet, Brooklyn Industries, Starbucks, Raymour & Flanigan, Victoria’s Secret, Express, Armani Exchange, Nordstrom Rack, H&M, TJ Maxx, Aeropostale, Seattle’s Best, Century 21 and the mammoth City Point’s 1.6 million square foot retail, commercial and residential project, due for completion in 2018. Add to that the development of Willoughby Square Park. Albee Square abutting City Point, new restaurants along Adams Street and the coming of the Downtown Tech Triangle… So are you paying attention Apple?

Meanwhile, the ink keeps on flowing about Downtown Brooklyn’s rejuvenation. Racked posted a piece, “National Chains Are Still Racing to Open on Fulton Street,” which discusses Raymour & Flanigan furniture store’s 28,000 sf lease for the second floor of 490 Fulton Street, scheduled to open in February and notes an undisclosed developer that’s close to signing a 45,000sf lease with a major apparel retailer.

In addition, The Real Deal wrote about “How Fulton Street is attracting national retailers,” pointing out that Century 21 is the first department store to open in the neighborhood in some 50 years. The Daily News noted the area’s revolution, “long home to neon-lit sneaker shops, hot dog stands and cell phone stores” to its reincarnation as “state-of-the-art Brooklyn, complete with skyscraping condo towers and flowery landscaping along Flatbush Ave. Extension.” Curbed remarked, “Fulton Street Mall Gets Popular,” while The New York Observer profiled Michael Weiss, CEO of Express, which opened a new outlet in August at 490 Fulton Street. Even AP alerted its press members about the in-the-works story. And let’s not forget one of the primary reasons for the area’s boom: a revolution in Downtown highrise housing.

BHB minions, we are indeed eyewitnesses to a truly historic urban revival—just steps away from our homes in Brooklyn Heights—which is destined to forever change the texture of the neighborhood… literally week by week. Hey, who needs Manhattan, anyway?

(Photos: Downtown Brooklyn Partnership/Century 21 rendering by Cook + Fox Architects via WSJ)

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn

Furniture Retailer Raymour & Flanigan Joins Fulton Mall Revolution

August 29, 2012

One after another… The big boom continues in Downtown Brooklyn, with yet another national retailer signing on to set up digs on Fulton Mall’s 17-block stretch from Boerum Place to Flatbush Avenue. Furniture chain Raymour & Flanigan will occupy a robust 28,000 square feet on the second floor at 490 Fulton Street.

As BHB readers well know, Raymour & Flanigan joins upcoming Century 21, H&M, T.J. Maxx, which are now under construction in the neighborhood; alongside the recently opened Gap Factory Outlet, Áeropostale, Starbucks, Brooklyn Industries, Seattle’s Best and Express. And around the corner on Adams Street, Potbelly just joined the burgeoning “Restaurant Row,” which will soon encompass Panera Bread, Chipotle, Sugar and Plumm, and American BBQ and Beer.

Scott Milnamow, a senior VP of real estate development at Raymour & Flanigan, told the New York Times that this will be the largest furniture store in Downtown Brooklyn. “We looked at a number of different neighborhoods, but felt like other national retailers are going to Fulton Street, and we wanted to be a part of that tenant mix.” The store is scheduled to open in February.

The Times says that Armani Exchange, Victoria’s Secret and Nordstrom Rack have also been sniffing around Downtown Brooklyn. “I’ve been doing deals on this street for 20 years, and only recently are we starting to see a real shift toward national retailers,” noted Barry Fishbach, an EVP at RKF.

The Times offers an overall look at Downtown Brooklyn’s rejuvenation, in an article titled “National Retailers Discover a Brooklyn Mall” here. While NYT is coming late to the party in discovering what BHB readers have been reading for months regarding Fulton Mall’s rejuvenation, the story does offer interesting details about the anatomy of retailer deals.

(Photo: Chuck Taylor)

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Downtown Brooklyn

Fulton Mall Welcomes Another Major Retailer: Say Hello To Express

August 20, 2012

A shiny new Express store at 490 Fulton Street along Fulton Mall has opened in the rapidly gentrifying Downtown Brooklyn shopping destination. Michael Weiss, CEO of the men’s and women’s clothier and a Brooklyn native, was present for the festive “block party” opening last Wednesday. He tells the New York Observer that he began his career as a management trainee and associate buyer right along the corridor, at former Fulton Mall department store Abraham & Strauss, now the home of Macy’s.

Express occupies 10,000 square feet in a building that was originally also going to house a 40,000-square-foot Filene’s Basement/Syms hybrid, before the chain went bust. Still planned: dorms on the upper floors for Long Island University students.

Express joins the recent coming of Starbucks, Brooklyn Industries, Gap Factory Outlet on Fulton Mall, and future retailers H&M and Century 21, with new tenants being announced seemingly every month.

The Observer reports that Weiss grew up in Fort Greene. He recalls Fulton Mall in the late 1960s and early 1970s: “It was just the greatest place to be. So much activity. So much action. Brooklyn was it,” that is, before Brooklyn, along with the rest of the city, began its precipitous decline into bankruptcy and decay. “It was very different than it is today. It was very optimistic. Brooklyn was quite a place in those years. It was a place of expectation and aspiration. It was solidly middle class, everyone sort of felt like they had a shot if they worked hard,” he adds.

Weiss says he always believed Fulton Mall would gentrify: “I knew that street had to be rejuvenated at some point. The big question was when a company could afford to get into the place and make it work. You don’t want to be too early, and you don’t want to be late. I really think now is the time.”

The new Downtown Express store unveils a new interiors concept, designed by Japanese architect Masamichi Katayama of the firm Wonderwall: “We want to elevate the retail experience for national stores, really take it somewhere new,” Weiss tells the Observer. “The whole art, bohemian community, has added to the fashion profile, the creative fashion profile of the borough. They’re not high-fashion dressers, they’re creative dressers.”

(Photo: Chuck Taylor)

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, Food

Downtown’s Starbucks Booming; Seattle’s Best A Bust?

July 26, 2012

Have you ever met a Starbucks that didn’t do boffo business? The recent move of the Brooklyn Heights’ locale from the open & airy 134 Montague Street to the long & narrow 112 Montague doesn’t appear to have cut down on the number of Caffè Vanilla Frappuccino Blendeds being served in the neighborhood. (More photos below the jump.)

Meanwhile, the new Starbucks location at Fulton Mall’s 348 Fulton Street, which opened earlier this month across from Shake Shack and next to the spanking new Brooklyn Industries, appears to be satisfying coffee lovers with equal gusto.

The same can’t be said for Downtown Brooklyn’s Seattle’s Best, which opened its first standalone store in the borough at 253 Livingston Street & Bond Street on June 21. Earlier this week, a stop inside revealed not a single customer. The somewhat desolate location is set apart from the neighborhood’s gentrifying commerce and is situated in a building that is thus far undeveloped.

The irony, of course, is that Seattle’s Best, founded in 1970, became a subsidiary of Starbuck’s at the dawn of the millennium.

(Photos: Chuck Taylor)
Montague Street, Brooklyn Heights
348 Fulton Street, Fulton Mall
253 Livingston Street

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn

Brooklyn Industries Opens New Flagship Along Fulton Mall

July 24, 2012

As tipped on BHB July 10, Brooklyn Industries has opened its 16th shop along Fulton Mall in Downtown Brooklyn. The location at 342 Fulton Street, across from Shake Shack—which used to be an HSBC bank—is its ninth Brooklyn store and, according to a manager BHB chatted with Tuesday, is not only its largest destination, but is now the local chain’s flagship.

This Brooklyn Industries hardly resembles the boutique persona of its stores in Cobble Hill, DUMBO and Manhattan, with two spacious floors. And it’s pretty cool that the original bank clock was left in the entrance window. According to its website, the artist-owned men’s and women’s clothier began making bags from recycled vinyl in in 1998 in Williamsburg, and launched its first store on Bedford Avenue in 2001. It calls itself “the paradigm shift in how American companies are run.”

The Fulton Mall shop is obviously another leap forward in the gentrification of Fulton Mall. Add Brooklyn Industries to the new Starbucks and Gap Factory Store, as well as forthcoming Century 21, TJ Maxx, H&M and massive multi-use City Point.

(Photo: Chuck Taylor)

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Downtown Brooklyn

Gentrification: Clothier Brooklyn Industries Coming To Fulton Mall

July 10, 2012

Gentrification continues along the Fulton Street Mall corridor, this time with Brooklyn Industries coming to 342 Fulton Street, close to the entrance. An HSBC bank was previously on the site. Brownstoner shares that the Brooklyn-logo clothier has seven locations in the borough, including shops in DUMBO and Cobble Hill, along with a sprinkling in Manhattan. A tipster says that the store is set to open by the end of July.

Add Brooklyn Industries to the new Starbucks and Gap Factory Store along Fulton, as well as recently opened and/or coming soon Shake Shack, H&M, T.J. Maxx and Century 21.

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web