altamira workshop

Home goods and crafts store Altamira Workshop opened last weekend at 217 6th Avenue in Park Slope. Owners Philip Sachs and Amy Fierro sell handmade items, many of them produced locally, such as ceramics, jewelry, stationery, art and home goods.

The owners have “created an in-house brand of goods that emphasize a combination of affordability and high design,” according to the shop’s press release. They’ve been teaching printmaking classes and selling their prints for years at outdoor markets like the Flea, and now they’ll offer consultations on printmaking and an onsite print shop at Altamira.

The shop’s name refers to the Cave of Altamira in Spain, which contains some of the earliest known Paleolithic cave paintings. GMAP

Photo via Altamira Workshop

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The Plex started leasing apartments last year, and now retail space in the building is available. Or maybe we should say retail space is still available. When we passed by a few weeks ago we saw “for rent” signs on the ground floor of the building at 958 Nostrand Avenue.

There are a lot of really big spaces here with big windows and lots of frontage on the avenue. Turns out the spaces were up for lease over a year ago, according to a commenter on Brooklynian, who spotted the listing at Massey Knakal. Now Heller has the listing. There are two spaces that can be subdivided, with almost 10,000 square feet on the street level between them and more in the basement.

These are the kinds of big spaces national and global retailers have a hard time finding in Brooklyn, but perhaps the location would be better suited to something smaller. Or maybe the rent is really high. Anyone know more? GMAP

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The noticeably sagging building on the corner of Berry and North 5th in Williamsburg that recently got a spruce up — and once housed storied bar The Ship’s Mast — is now a clothing store. Menswear boutique ID New York, which started at 232 Bedford, opened a second location at 107 North 5th Street a few months ago, a salesperson told us when we called. The new location carries women’s clothing as well as men’s.

Burg’s Sagging Wood Frame Building Fixed, Now Renting Retail Space [Brownstoner] GMAP

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We’re a little late to this news, but Le Petit Bakery at 354 Myrtle Avenue in Fort Greene shut its doors at the end of September. The owners didn’t give a reason but posted a farewell note on Facebook, Fort Greene Focus wrote at the time. Meanwhile, a new bakery called Isabelle’s appears to be moving in three doors down 154 Adelphi in the old Little Louie’s Pizza spot — but it turns out it is only a temporary set for a film shoot.

Click through to see the cute storefront and a notice about the filming. Thanks to a tipster for the photo of Isabelle’s. GMAP (more…)

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Thor Equities has wasted no time getting a big “retail space available” sign up on an empty lot on North 6th Street — across the street from Madewell’s new store — it purchased in late August along with a slew of adjacent retail buildings. As global brands and chain stores move into Williamsburg, big Manhattan-focused developers are starting to show more interest in the historically mostly Hasidic-owned neighborhood, we’ve noticed.

Thor picked up the lot, whose addresses are 126 North 6th Street and 130-132 North 6th Street, for $3,750,000 on August 25, according to public records. The same day, it also snapped up 124 North 6th Street, home to Chai Thai restaurant, for $14,000,00, and 136 North 6th Street, home to Lulu Lounge and Tacu Tacu, for $3,750,000.

Thor will build the new retail space to suit the new tenant, according to marketing on its site. There is potential for 10,000 square feet of retail space over two floors, with 50 feet of sidewalk frontage — it could be a restaurant or stores. Apparently the developer plans to keep the existing buildings as they are, if a rendering of the potential storefront is any indication.

The New York Observer was the first to write about the sales and the rendering. Click through to see the rendering.

130 North 6th Street Listing [Thor Equities]
Thor Nabs W’burg Properties for Retail Project [NYO] GMAP  (more…)

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After fewer than four months in business, retail mogul Andy Spade’s home goods store Boerum House and Home at 312 Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill has shut its doors. Meanwhile, nearby at 265 State Street, a combo hotel-condo, known as The Boerum, is getting ready to launch sales in mid-November, a spokesperson for the development told us. The space that housed Boerum House and Home will become the Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group sales gallery for the condos.

Boerum House and Home was founded by Partners & Spade, a partnership of Andy Spade and Anthony Sperduti, in partnership with architecture and development firm Flank, which designed the store. The store debuted in late June or early July, as we reported at the time. In an email to us, a spokesman for The Boerum called it “the acclaimed housewares and furnishings store designed and curated by Flank and Partners & Spade” and noted that Partners & Spade is a creative agency whose clients include Warby Parker, Shinola and J.Crew. Flank is also the developer and the designer of The Boerum, its first and biggest project in Brooklyn.

The Boerum, which apparently will take up all of one side of Smith Street between State and Schermerhorn, has put up a teaser site. The site also goes by the addresses 71 Smith Street and 140 Schermerhorn, and The Carlyle Group is also involved, according to Crain’s. The hotel will occupy the first six stories, and floors seven through 19 will hold 128 one- to five-bedroom apartments, including four penthouses, with a focus on larger units catering to families, the PR rep said. The red brick and cast stone building will offer family-friendly amenities such as art classes for kids staffed by teachers from the Children’s Museum of the Arts in the Village, according to The Wall Street Journal. Pricing has not yet been announced.

Corcoran may not even have to change the sign at 312 Atlantic Avenue, which just says “Boerum.”

The Boerum [Official] GMAP
Andy Spade Debuts Home Store on Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill This Month [Brownstoner]
Rendering by Flank

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A Michael Jordan fan and documentary filmmaker last week opened a boutique dedicated to the man and the brand, selling Air Jordan clothing and sneakers. Located at 302 Malcolm X Boulevard in the old Liquid Oz cafe spot, Jordan Heads Brooklyn is a “holy shrine to His Airness,” owner Calvan Fowler told streetwear blog Highsnobiety.

When we stopped by in July when the store was under construction, the store’s initials were already visible on the window, but workers inside told us the new business would be a cafe. Images of Michael Jordan cover the walls, and the sneakers are wrapped in clear plastic.

Most of the merchandise is new, but some of the sneakers — “unworn” and “pristine” collector’s items — are used and sold on consignment, with a generous 85 percent cut going to the owner, said a story in DNAinfo. The only-in-Bed-Stuy store hopes to become a destination for Michael Jordan fans visiting New York City, the owner told DNAinfo.

A Fowler-directed documentary about the obsession with Air Jordan sneakers, called “Jordan Heads,” like the store, will debut in 2015, said Highsnobiety.

Jordan Heads Brooklyn Becomes First Exclusive Air Jordan Sneaker Boutique in NYC [Highsnobiety]
Michael Jordan Consignment Store Sells Pre-Owned Sneakers in Bed Stuy [DNA]
JHBK Cafe Replacing Liquid Oz in Bed Stuy [Brownstoner] GMAP

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A general store selling hard-to-find items is prepping to open at 518a Willoughby Avenue early next year. Willoughby General will carry bread, cheese, coffee, gifts and a small selection of produce. Co-owner Rachel Tutera said she wants to offer items her neighbors can’t find elsewhere in the area.

“We want people to be able to come here instead of zigzagging all over the neighborhood or going to Manhattan to get staples or odds and ends,” she said. The shop is taking requests on what to carry through its Facebook page. Since Key Food on Myrtle and Throop closed over the summer, locals have wondered where they can buy basic groceries without walking several blocks, Tutera said.

Other items may include locally made honey from the bees in a nearby garden, home brew kits, regional spices, and some magazines and newspapers. Tutera and her business partner, Barbara Lester, hope to open in January with hours from 7 am to 7 pm. They’re signing the lease on the 300-square-foot space this week. GMAP

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Madewell will open its first Brooklyn store at 127 North 6th Street in Williamsburg Wednesday, a sales associate told us when we called. The grand opening party is set for that evening, according to the brand’s Facebook page and an email we received.

When we stopped by yesterday, scaffolding was up and the exterior was under construction. We don’t know what that silvery shiny stuff is on the top (strips of aluminum? insulation?) or why it’s made up of such skinny, short pieces, but perhaps it’s some kind of under layer and not the final topping. (Click through for a closeup.)

The store is centrally located near Bedford Avenue on the same street as Urban Outfitters and American Apparel. J.Crew opened a few blocks away last month. Williamsburg is now feeling a lot like Soho 25 years ago. GMAP (more…)

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A story in Gawker today confirmed the exact addresses of three buildings Vice Media is taking over as it expands its multimedia empire in Williamsburg, and yes, as suspected, Glasslands (as well as Death by Audio and a handful of other businesses) is being displaced. Williamsburg institution Glasslands, a once hidden and illegal performance space that later went legit, announced yesterday its last show will be New Year’s Eve.

The addresses are 285-289 Kent Avenue, pictured above, and two buildings at 49 South 2nd Street. Gawker found mention of the deal and the exact addresses in an interview with the broker that ran in the Commercial Observer in September. When Vice’s expansion was first announced, the exact addresses of the buildings were not given, although we speculated that 285 Kent was one.

It’s nothing new for gentrifiers to displace gentrifiers, and Glasslands is one of a long list of quirky Williamsburg businesses to shut in recent months.

No One Wants to Say It, But Vice Is Displacing Brooklyn Institutions [Gawker]  GMAP

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Back in the day before gentrification had fully hit Crown Heights and sent rents up 17.5 percent and townhouse prices soaring 86 percent in one year — that is, way back in 2010 — Crown Heights residents were upset to learn a pawn shop would be opening on Franklin Avenue. The pawn shop would “degrade the atmosphere of the street” and was a “recipe for disaster,” according to a petition circulated by the Crow Hill Community Association at the time.

After numerous protests, the shop opened as a jewelry store, not a pawn shop — and the most amazing mural appeared on the side of the building. We diplomatically said, “We have no idea what to think of the mural that’s gone up to promote the place. That is one lucky baby.”

Less than three years later, the store was out of business and has since been replaced by literary bookshop Hullabaloo Books.

Literary Book Store Replaces Pawn Shop [Brownstoner]
Crown Heights Pawn Shop is Back [Brownstoner]
Protests Against a Pawn Shop on Franklin [Brownstoner]