crow-hill-jewelry-111910.jpg

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Less than three years later, the store was out of business and has since been replaced by literary bookshop Hullabaloo Books.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

gateway-center-east-new-york-081114

Grocer Shoprite has opened a huge store in Gateway Center in East New York, joining Staples, Old Navy, Babies R Us, and other big box retailers. The 90,000-square-foot store will add 350 jobs and fresh produce and seafood, said a story in The New York Daily News. The store is the ninth grocer to open as part of the city’s healthy supermarket program, Food Retail Expansion to Support Health Program. Another big opening at Gateway Center is slated for Wednesday: Nordstrom Rack. The center, located at 501 Gateway Drive, also has Target, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Home Depot and JC Penney.

Shoprite Opens Massive Store in Brooklyn’s Gateway Shopping Center [NY Daily News]
Photo by Jimmy Legs

true religion viva movil 162 flatbush avenue 92014

True Religion is opening its first Brooklyn store this winter in the old Viva Movil space across the street from the Barclays Center in Park Slope. Signage for the California-based denim brand appeared on the corner of Flatbush and Pacific earlier this week. Thanks to a commenter for tipping us off.

The new store at 162 Flatbush Avenue will have nine-foot-tall digital storefront windows, as well as other technology such as interactive kiosks and iPad checkout, according to Racked and Apparel.  GMAP

 

234-wythe-avenue-092514

The mural covered construction fence has come down and workers were busy painting “J.Crew” on the side of the building at 234 Wythe Avenue when we stopped by yesterday afternoon. The store will open tomorrow at 11 am, according to an update on J.Crew’s Facebook page. They’ve dramatically altered the look of the building — for the better, we think — with new windows and a door, although we wish they’d left the old red brick unpainted. GMAP

barclays-center-092214

In the two years since Barclays Center opened its doors, 100 local businesses have closed, and chains like Shake Shack have arrived on Flatbush Avenue and nearby. (Opening soon: Doughnut Plant and Patsy’s Pizza). But some small businesses have survived and prospered by learning how to capitalize on game nights and concerts, according to a report in the Commercial Observer.

The owner of Cake Ambiance, the five-year-old dessert spot at 452 Dean Street, said the shop has gotten 20 to 40 percent more foot traffic since Barclays Center opened. He lures customers from the arena on game nights by offering free samples.

Two doors down, the little Italian cafe Broccolino has seen more business before and after events at the arena. Owner Giuseppe Piazzolla claims his local customers don’t mind the crowds from the stadium, because they come between 7 and 10 pm — when the game or the concert is happening. Business has been so good that he plans to open a pizzeria in the vacant storefront next door.

Two Years After the Barclays Center Opened, Which Local Businesses Have Won and Lost? [NYO]

718-atlantic-avenue-2-091914

The StorageMart on Atlantic Avenue — a huge, hard-to-miss building — is closing to make way for Atlantic Yards. Management sent out a notice via email to its customers yesterday, which one of them forwarded to us. Turns out the building is one of the ones being taken over by eminent domain! The judge granted the state’s request for all seven of the remaining Atlantic Yards sites yesterday, as DNAinfo and Atlantic Yards Report were the first to note.

StorageMart isn’t happy about the seizure. “The New York State Urban Development Corporation dba Empire State Development (ESD) has been trying for years to take over our property located at 718 Atlantic Ave as part of the Atlantic Yards project. Unfortunately it finally succeeded on August 29, 2014,” the email says.

Click through to see the letter.

Photo by Greg Snodgrass for PropertyShark (more…)

209-smith-street-rickys-091714

We’ve received a ton of tips that a Ricky’s NYC is moving into 209 Smith Street, a prominent corner where Carroll Gardens meets Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill. (This is the old Faan space — more recently, Burger on Smith.) Apparently people really care about Ricky’s!

It could be a Halloween popup, but the signage looks like regular Ricky’s. They already have two locations in Brooklyn, one in the Heights and one in Park Slope. So this seems like a logical addition.

Thanks for a tipster for sending in the photo. Anyone know more? GMAP

407-grand-avenue-091114

Clean Society cleaners at 307 Grand Avenue has been shut down by court order. The spot has been a notorious hotbed of suspicious activity for years, as we wrote in April when the owner was shot (but not killed). At the time of the shooting, a tipster told us he saw DEA agents taking cash and drugs out of the storefront.

A week later, the police claimed the owner and a customer got into a “verbal altercation about clothes” and the shooting was not drug related, according to DNAinfo.

Now there are two signs on the door, as you can see in this photo a reader sent us today. One says “Closed by Court Order.” The other is a restraining order that specifically prohibits removing anything from the premises. It also says “The following activity is prohibited: use and occupancy.” And then it just says “marijuana.”

1347-fulton-street-090814

Developer Bawabeh Brothers is planning to remake a six-shop stretch of Fulton Street into a destination spot for upscale retail, including boutiques, restaurants and bars aimed at “Bed Stuy’s growing creative community,” according to an elaborate online marketing brochure forwarded to us by a tipster over the weekend. “Somewhere between the tough streets immortalized in the hip-hop genre and the chatter of gentrification and hipster invasion, Bed Stuy offers an interesting mix of transition and history in one of Brooklyn’s most fascinating neighborhoods,” continues the brochure, which is aimed at prospective retail tenants. (more…)