We can blame the late Victorian era for the commercialization of Christmas. The late 1800s gave us an affluent society with the disposable income to buy the vast amount of machine-made goods coming out of American factories.
The Brooklyn Eagle gloried in this consumer excess, writing glowing reviews of the merchandise in stores all over the city and running thousands of ads. No time of the year was more important than Christmas.
We’ve picked five Brooklyn stores to highlight for the holiday shopping season — three old-timers from the Victorian age, and two more contemporary. None of them exist anymore.
They were founded by the same kind of smart, successful and lucky entrepreneurs that abound today, all striving to bring Brooklynites the next greatest thing, especially for the holidays.
A long-empty storefront at 327 Stuyvesant Avenue is being renovated, we saw when we passed by Saturday. The property sits on a well-trafficked corner in Stuyvesant Heights not far from the express stop at Utica.
Many empty retail spaces in the area have found new commercial tenants recently or are being spruced up in the hopes of attracting them.
Another revamped retail space in a landmarked building in Stuy Heights is ready for a tenant. The second retail space at 616 Halsey Street, in the rear of the building at the corner of Malcolm X, had been closed up for decades.
Developer Weissman Equities opened it up again and renovated the interior and exterior, with Landmarks approval. The liquor store on the corner is staying, and the vintage-style exterior lights outside the apartment entrance are new.
Starbucks will soon be opening in a large storefront on Myrtle Avenue in Fort Greene. The Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership’s blog confirmed the rumors that have been circulating for months with several sources earlier this week, although Starbucks has not yet responded.
Chase is opening a branch at 276 Livingston Street in Downtown Brooklyn, we noticed when we passed by a few weeks ago. It’s the same building where the International House of Pancakes is reopening, although it’s on a different corner.
We’re not sure what the exact address will be, since Chase doesn’t list the branch yet on its map, but it sits on the corner of Fulton and Bond, right across from the now closed-for-construction City Point mall. GMAP
Marketing has started to fill the retail space at a landmarked building in Stuy Heights that upset neighbors in July when the new owners stucco’d the turret in violation of the landmark rules. If you check out the brochure for the store space, you will see an attractive architectural rendering, above, that shows what the building at 302 Stuyvesant Avenue would look like if restored per the LPC guidelines.
We reached out to a few locals to ask them what they would like to see come into the space. Here are a few comments we received:
*A bed and breakfast with a good bakery with great whole wheat and that fennel raisin one by Amy’s bread and Eli Zabar’s bread and Maison Kayser baguettes. Like a Union Market?
*I would like to see a place for coffee and pastries, especially on a snowy, cold day. But I would be happy for a sandwich shop.
*Doggie daycare! But I’m biased haha .
*FRESH BAGELS a la Bergen Bagels.
*Art gallery and performance space that supports local artists and a yoga/dance studio.
The “prime” retail space at the corner of “iconic” Stuyvesant Avenue and Hancock Street is 2,000 square feet (plus a basement of equal size), according to the brochure. The store space has 14-foot ceilings and can be divided into two spaces if desired. Forest Park Properties is handling the leasing.
According to the law, no tenants can move in until the landmark violations are corrected. Right now the building has a stop work order. We reached out to one of the co-owners for comment, but did not hear back, and the agent declined to comment, so we don’t know what they are planning. But we are hopeful the start of this search for a retail tenant means the owner is busy working to restore the building. Click through to see more photos.
What do you think of the rendering and what would you like to see at this corner?
302 Stuyvesant Coverage [Brownstoner]
Tangerine Hot Power Yoga is limbering up to open a custom-built hot yoga studio at 225 Schermerhorn Street on Monday, March 23. It will feature radiant heating panels, and there will also be a hot and cold water station and freshly laundered towels.
The space was designed by Ivana Martinovic and Nikola Martinovic of INM Architects.
A few items will also be available for purchase: Liquiteria raw and cold-pressed juices, scented eco-friendly candles from Brooklyn Candle Studio, organic body products from Plant Brooklyn and clothing from Good hYOUman, a spokesperson told us.
Click through to see a sketch of the interior. GMAP
Drawing by INM Architects
Construction has started at 1413 Fulton Street in Bed Stuy, where a Blink Fitness will replace Bedford Stuyvesant Family Health Center and a pharmacy. The existing two-story building will get an additional story and have space for six stores as well as the gym, according to permits.
We found this rendering posted on the fence, and were able to see work had started on the building inside but not take a photo. Construction is supposed to wrap this year, according to the sign on the fence.
Don’t confuse this development with the similar one at 1245 Fulton, between Bedford and Nostrand, where a Planet Fitness in a new building is replacing a clothing store. Click through to see what the site looks like from the street. GMAP
The entire City Point mall at 1 Dekalb Avenue is shut for construction until 2016, a guard told us yesterday when we stopped by. Armani Exchange moved out two weeks ago, he said.
Armani Exchange was the first tenant in the building and opened in 2012. Century 21, CityTarget, and Alamo Drafthouse have also signed leases, but have not yet opened. A sign in front of the building lists Century 21, Alamo Drafthouse and A/X as tenants.
A taco stand outside in front, the only thing open when we stopped by, seemed busy.
We have reached out to City Point PR and will update if we hear anything more. Click through for more photos.
Update: We received this statement from Paul Travis, managing partner of Washington Square Partners and co-developer of City Point:
“Armani Exchange’s short-term lease expired and Century 21 Department Store is taking possession to begin construction of its multi-level, 145,000-square-foot space. We’d like to thank Armani Exchange for playing a significant role in promoting City Point and for its commitment to hiring local residents, which falls in line with our philosophy of ‘By Brooklyn, For Brooklyn.’ We’re looking forward to the possibility of them returning to City Point in the future.”
The Pratt Station post office reopened today in its new location at 609 Myrtle Avenue in Clinton Hill, on the ground floor of a five-story condo building. The Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership‘s blog was the first to write about today’s opening.
As you may recall, the postal service closed its old location at 504 Myrtle Avenue (five blocks away) last October, to make way for a planned six-story apartment building on the site. The post office serves the 11205 zip code.