A story about change on the Fulton Mall, that eight-block strip of Fulton Street between Flatbush and Adams Street, in the New York Times wondered if the coming of chains such H&M, Armani Exchange and Shake Shack will eventually push out the mix of mom and pop cell phone, sneaker, jewelry and clothing stores. Rising rents — now over $200 a square foot — have already closed several boutiques and may shutter more, according to one business owner on the street. But others quoted in the story said there is room for everyone.
“I don’t think Fulton Mall has lost its character,” said Vicki Weiner, deputy director at the Pratt Center for Community Development. Back in the ’50s, the area had a broader range of options from the low end to the high end. Now Macy’s is the one traditional department store, and there are more than 300 small retailers. There has been an influx of 15,000 new residents to the area, and 5,000 more apartments are in the works. The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership has spent $5 million on improvements such as benches, lighting, and street repaving. And estimated 1000,000 people pass through every day.
Do you think the changes will bring in more customers and retailers at every price point, or drive out the smaller businesses and current customers?
On Fulton Street, Worries About Change [NY Times]