Yesterday the Times had a loving portrait of the Fulton Mall, a chaotic throwback to the era before the sanitization and, yes, mallification of New York City’s retail districts. The article examines how the thoroughfare stays successful (it sees more than 100,000 shoppers each day) by catering to working-class minorities. Despite the fact that retail rents at the Fulton Mall are extremely high, the commercial strip still boasts plenty of mom-and-pop shops and a dearth of big national retailers. That may not be case for much longer, according to Downtown Brooklyn Partnership prez Joseph Chan. With all the housing stock that we have now and the demographics in the communities that surround Downtown Brooklyn, the fact that there’s not a Bed Bath & Beyond, a Pottery Barn, a Pier 1 in the downtown of a city of 2.5 million people is odd, says Chan. He argues that more chain stores won’t necessarily mean the end of the Fulton Mall as we know it: Having greater retail diversity means having more choices. It doesn’t mean eliminating what’s there today. The reality is it’s never going to be all or nothing.
Step Right Up! Brooklyn Mall Is Oasis and Anomaly [NY Times]
Photo by johnkay1.
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