Marty Boosts City Point, Court Street Retail

210-Joralemon-Street-0209.jpgBorough President Marty Markowitz used his State of the Borough address last week to promote several real estate initiatives in the Downtown Brooklyn area. First off, he called upon the city’s Department of Finance to vacate its offices at 210 Joralemon Street (across from Borough Hall) to clear the way for some major retail tenants and to commit as one of the anchor tenants at the yet-to-be-built City Point complex where the old Albee Square Mall used to be. We can open up that corner of Joralemon and Court streets for major retail solidifying Court Street as a bona fide New York City shopping destination,” said Marty. “Which stores would thrive there? How about Crate and Barrel, Nordstrom Rack, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th? It’s all possible.” The Brooklyn Downtown Partnership’s Joe Chan voiced support for the DOF move. The Beep also did some cheerleading for three of his pet projects, Atlantic Yards, the Loews King Theatre and the proposed Coney Island Amphitheatre.
We Must Build, Sez Markowitz [NY Post]
Photo from PropertyShark

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  • This would be revenue-neutral, or income producing, right? I mean, the borough president wouldn’t propose that a city agency move out of a city-owned building and pay rent in a speculative development if it was going to cost the taxpayers, would he?

  • Hey g man- long time! I, for one, would never accuse Marty of being an economic or financial genius who will do or say anything for a publicity plug. No no no- not me, no way, no how.

    In fact, I’m thinking Marty really hasn’t thought this through. I lived off of Court St. for years.It’s improved tremendously over the years but this proposal really does nothing in the long run except shove a few players around at taxpayer expense. marty goes for the big showy gesture- not practicality. Then again, what else can he do? It’s not like Borough Prez has any real power in the overall scheme of things.

  • Oh, this is just too much. First Sitt makes a fortune on the site when rezoning downtown increases the value of the site. Then the new owner negotiates a sweetheart deal on the ground lease. After that, a bunch of mom-and-pop stores get kicked out and the building torn down. Next, the new owner negotiates an incredible deal to create affordable units. Now we have an elected official proposing that the city subsidize the project further by leasing the office space. Do the people at EDC and in government have a clue?

  • altervoce- No- They just follow the scent of money like a dog follows another dog’s ass. another dog walks by and damn! They’re off again, sniffing the new doggy butt.

    Sometimes i think the politicans are like a bunch of lemmings in a box running from one side to the other just because everyone else does. It is never about doing things for the taxpayers- it’s always about making more money off of the taxpayer.

  • Marty doesn’t have a clue. And Saks is tottering on the edge of bankrupcy! Retailers are closing stores — not opening new ones. Maybe in another 5-10 years if we are lucky.

  • I think an upscale new store in the base of the Municipal Building on the corner of Court and Joralemon, would transform the intersection from a dreary, littered, deadzone, to a viable and attractive streetscape. I think an Apple Store would be ideal but I could also see a Bloomingdale’s branch or a Gracious Home or any other typical New York store. The story would have the responsibility of keeping the area lighted and litter-free. Really a good idea. It would do a great deal to improve the quality of retail on this entire desolate stretch of Court Street, which is currently more Brooklyn Pits than Brooklyn Heights.

  • I think there are an awful lot of people and businesses who would hardly consider it a dead zone and would be extremely unhappy at this juncture in time to do what marty proposes. Sorry- my taxes are needed for more important stuff. Stores will go in and out. All those agencies and workers are what kept the area stabilized for years. There’s a lot of important and necessary business in that building- leave it alone.

  • bxgirl, this would make money for the city. it would not be a subsidized tenancy. plus, it would help generate more commercial activity and thereby generate more taxes. What’s wrong with relocating the finance bureau, or whatever, to another city building and adapting the lower two floors on the corner into income-producing retail? Court Street is a commercial street, the Muni building is a blank spot on the street just where the subways are. we can do better.

  • Is City Point a City-owned building? I don’t see that anywhere in the article. How would making the finance bureau move to another place do all that much? It would cost taxpayer money, and considering they want retail in the downtown area, which they are building up so much, let the retail move there. It seems to me the idea that Court St. is a commercial st is incorrect- its a mixed use street of retail, residential and governmental. And what’s wrong with that? Absolutely nothing. Not only that, but the people who work in that building have long been part of the local economy and supported Court St. businesses. court St. is a municipal area- its mixed use make up is what enabled it to improve over the years- its a healthy mix.

    And please don’t tell me I don’t know anything about it- I lived just off Court St. for well over 20 years and saw it go from home of the porn palace to Barnes & Noble.

  • bxgirl, I would never tell you you don’t know anything about this or anything else simply because I disagree with you.
    Do you believe a nice new store here would be disrespectful to the government workers? The Boro President works across the street and it’s his idea. I agree that Court Street has improved greatly since the days moviemakers used it as a substitute for wartime Saigon and post-apocalyptic Manhattan (both true) but I think we should not stop now, there are further improvements to be made.

  • On that I do agree, sam. (Thanks for replying so nicely, sam- I’ve a bit antsy today). No- it’s not a matter of being disrespectful at all. I’m just wondering how putting in retail would balance off of what g man said? Especially since CITY Point is not City owned- don’t you think the City would be paying out far more to move the finance Bureau there than it would get in returns from retail rental?

    And what business, at this point in time could actually afford the city of money the City would need to charge for that space? At least in that area of Court St.

  • And also- would they have to drastically reconfigure the building- the exterior too?

    (Did they really? which movies?- I don’t remember seeing anything shot on court St. although several tv shows were filmed on Schermerhorn when I lived there.)

  • sam, here’s the deal: The Department of Finance, which currently does not have to pay rent because it is in a city-owned building, would have to pay rent in City Point. I am guessing that this proposal is being made, in part, to prop up that private development further, by guaranteeing a commercial tenant (the Department of Finance). Although he doesn’t connect the dots, I think what g man was asking is, would the rent received from a retailer in the Municipal Building off-set or be greater than the rent that Finance would have to pay in City Point. Otherwise, taxpayers are stuck for the difference. Maybe the public wants retail at Court and Joralemon that badly, or maybe they don’t. Seems like (more) bad public policy to me.

  • I think it’s a brilliant plan — bring more stores and life to both City Point and the Muni building — if putting DOF in City Point can help make it happen, it’s better than the empty lot there now. Don’t forget the tax revenue to be paid on all the City Point businesses, which will also accrue to the city’s benefity.

  • I think it’s a brilliant plan — bring more stores and life to both City Point and the Muni building — if putting DOF in City Point can help make it happen, it’s better than the empty lot there now. Don’t forget the tax revenue to be paid on all the City Point businesses, which will also accrue to the city’s benefit.