Brooklyn Apple Store Facade, Windows Almost Done

The supposed site of Brooklyn’s first Apple store, under construction at 247 Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, is starting to look like a finished building — on the outside, at least. After topping out in July, now the facade is up and the windows are going in.

It closely resembles the original building and a rendering published in 2013, except with better-realized details. The rendering and the original building both had big, square windows on the second floor, over big arched entrances. (more…)


With numerous full-line grocery stores, specialty shops and farmers markets, Bed Stuy is far from the stereotypical inner city “food desert.” But as the Whole Foods bags in the arms of residents heading home from the subway attest, locals have long complained they had to go outside the neighborhood to buy such items as grass-fed meats, wild fish, artisanal cheeses and organic strawberries. Now a gourmet grocery is finally headed to Bed Stuy.

Tara Oxley, who opened popular farm-to-table restaurant Eugene & Co. in December, has signed a lease for an 1,100-square-foot space at 406 Tompkins, just down the block. (The storefront sold stationary and toys for decades, old photos reveal.)

She hopes to open in January, she told Brownstoner. Chicky’s General Store is modeled on Dépanneur in Williamsburg and Dean and Deluca but with lower prices. The plan is to have a little bit of everything, including local organic produce, grass fed meats, prepared foods, sandwiches, and even some housewares and gifts. (more…)


We’ll all have a great excuse to visit Sunset Park this fall. The winter location for the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg will be at Industry City from October 17 to March 27.

The market will set up shop in a 50,000-square-foot space on the second floor of 241 37th Street. About 40 local food vendors are slated to serve up delectable selections, including Industry City eateries Blue Marble Ice Cream, Home Frite and Mofongo.

IKEA Red Hook Controversy

If you ever visit the IKEA in Red Hook, you might think it a buzzing furniture-shopper’s paradise. Admiring the store’s striking views of the Statue of Liberty, your shopping bags filled with particle board and your stomach filled with lingonberry, you might assume that the IKEA couldn’t have inspired an ounce of controversy. But oh how wrong you’d be.

In the great tradition of Brooklyn mega-developments, the construction of the Red Hook IKEA was passionately opposed on multiple fronts. Here’s a brief look back at the dramatic saga of the Red Hook IKEA.



Clockwise from top left: Pavilion Theater and renderings of the proposed redesign via Hidrock Realty, photo by Nitehawk

Its redesign might not be a blockbuster hit, but Park Slope’s Pavilion Theater at 188 Prospect Park West has already caught the eye of a hip Williamsburg Cinema operator, reported DNAinfo. Matthew Viragh, owner of Nitehawk Cinema on Metropolitan Avenue, told DNA he’d like to take over the Pavilion once its renovation is complete.

Nitehawk is known for its hipster atmosphere and for serving cocktails and dinner during films. Nitehawk would be a catch for the Pavilion — in previous years, the theater was plagued by complaints of trash, poor heating and bedbugs.



Photo by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark

Downtown Brooklyn will soon get a thoroughly modern Macy’s. The department store and commercial real estate firm Tishman Speyer announced a $270,000,000 deal Wednesday that will let Macy’s downsize, remodel and take cash out of its antiquated real estate holdings downtown.

Thankfully, the historic building at 422 Fulton Street will not be sporting a giant condo tower on its roof anytime soon. And Macy’s will continue to own and operate the first four floors and the lower level as a store.



If you’ve lived in Brooklyn for a while and spent enough time in Park Slope and Cobble Hill, you probably noticed the two very different places called the Community Bookstore. The one on 7th Avenue in Park Slope is orderly and cozy, with warm lighting and an impeccably curated selection of books.

Then there’s the one at 212 Court Street in Cobble Hill, which looks as if the books were pushed in with a bulldozer. You never know what you’ll find in this other Community Bookstore, though the owner, John Scioli, might be able to lead you through the precarious piles to find your buried treasure.

For years, this charming eyesore has been a staple of Cobble Hill life, but if you didnt know Scioli’s story, you couldn’t help but wonder how long it would be before Scioli was forced to close — if not by the health department, then certainly by a rent hike.

According to today’s story in the New York Times, your prediction would have been half right. After 30 years, the Community Bookstore will soon be closing, because Scioli sold the brownstone for $5,500,000. (more…)


Just days after developer Greystone released a rendering for the luxury rental building it is planning for next door to Park Slope’s much-watched Lyceum, a landmarked former public bath on development-heavy 4th Avenue, it announced it has found a tenant for the century-old Beaux Arts building: Blink Fitness.

The no-frills gym chain will be taking up the whole 16,700-square-foot space at 227 4th Avenue, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal. Greystone bought the Lyceum this year at a foreclosure auction, intending to turn it into condos — and subsequently snapped up the development site next door.

When Greystone recently announced it had dropped its condo plans for the Lyceum and was seeking a retailer or two, Brownstoner commenters said they would like to see an Apple or Trader Joe’s move into the space. (more…)


Boerum Hill is a little less buttoned down now, thanks to the Jerkface street art adorning what will soon be designer Steven Alan’s third shop on the corner of Atlantic and Hoyt Street in Boerum Hill. Steven Alan Optical, the company’s first standalone eyewear store, plans to open Thursday in a former garage at 83 Hoyt Street, behind the Atlantic Avenue women’s store.

Until now, eyewear occupied a corner in some of the clothing shops.  (more…)


Downtown Brooklyn may soon become known as the place where New Yorkers fill their prescriptions for medical marijuana, if a dispensary opens on the Fulton Mall as planned. Long Island-based medical marijuana company PalliaTech announced Thursday it had leased a second-floor space for the purpose at 425 Fulton Street, between Jay and Pearl streets, the site of a former Wendy’s, Crain’s reported. The firm has applied to be one of five licensed in the state to sell the tightly controlled drug.

Each company can have only four outlets. PalliaTech has chosen Utica, Newburgh and Rochester as its other locations. A production facility would be located upstate, in Plattsburgh, Crain’s said.

We asked our resident medical marijuana expert to explain what this means for Brooklyn. Jim Rendon is a longtime Brownstoner commenter and a freelance Brownstoner contributing editor and writer. He is the author of “Super-Charged: How Outlaws, Hippies, and Scientists Reinvented Marijuana,” published in 2012 by Timber Press.

Brownstoner: Why do you think PalliaTech chose Brooklyn?

Jim Rendon: Certainly Brooklyn has a large population and good transit, however much of the city’s medical infrastructure is in Manhattan.

BS: What effect do you think this medical marijuana store will have on Brooklyn?

JR: Probably not a ton, but it will get a lot of attention because it’s marijuana. New York is not like California where if you stub your toe you can get a doctor’s recommendation for marijuana. What’s happening in New York is very small scale. If you’re a pot smoker you’re not going to get a card. There are a very narrow group of illnesses that qualify, such as cancer, HIV and Parkinson’s. There won’t be a lot of traffic.

BS: Crowds of people won’t be making a beeline to this second floor office?

JR: Even in California where it’s more freewheeling you wouldn’t know the dispensaries are there necessarily. The only difference is there tends be a big security guard and cameras to make sure no one is smoking weed out front or getting robbed in the parking lot because dispensaries are forced to run all cash businesses because banks won’t allow them to open accounts. (more…)


Pioneer Works’ Pioneer Books opened Sunday at 289 Van Brunt Street in Red Hook. The small store carries arts journals and vintage arts-related books.

It is an offshoot of Pioneer Works, the nonprofit arts and event space, located two blocks away on Pioneer Street.

The space appears to have at one time housed a bodega, going by old photos. Click through for a few more photos of the inside and the window display. GMAP (more…)


The Atlantic Galleria mini mall at 252 Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill has reached its full height. Insulation and cladding are going on in preparation for the glassy facade, which comes next. Click through for a close-up and updated rendering.

Crafts store Michaels, TD Bank and Blink Fitness are the tenants so far, as reported previously. Renaissance Realty Group is the developer and SBLM Architects is the designer.

After years of no action, the foundation was dug in December and the frame started rising in January. This site has been a long time in development — we reported back in 2007 that it was going to be an apartment building!

252 Atlantic Avenue Coverage [Brownstoner] GMAP
Rendering by SBLM Architects