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Pier 1 and Retro Fitness Expected to Land in Cobble Hill

By Heather Holland | July 20, 2012 2:28pm | Updated on July 20, 2012 3:01pm

COBBLE HILL — Pier 1 Imports, Retro Fitness and City Sports are expected to arrive in what is currently an empty lot in Cobble Hill, according to a published report.

Renaissance Realty Group will be developing a two-story building called Atlantic Galleria, at 252 Atlantic Ave., a lot that has long been empty, Brooklyn Bugle's Cobble Hill Blog initially reported.

Including the cellar, the building will actually hold three floors.  The basement will contain a City Sports store and Retro Fitness will occupy the ground floor.

The topmost floor will house Brooklyn's first Pier 1 store, the blog reported.

The project's architect, Gamil Engineering, has already submitted an application to the Department of Buildings for a building permit, according to records from the agency's website.

Preliminary renderings found on Atlantic Galleria’s website show a commercial center featuring floor-to-ceiling windowed storefronts. The site will neighbor other mega-stores that have been cropping up along the commercial strip, like Petsmart, Trader Joe's and Barnes and Noble.

Local houseware shops in Cobble Hill aren't too worried about business competition though. The mom-and-pop stores in this neighborhood mostly focus on vintage, antique or handmade products, and will most likely not be affected by a Pier 1 Imports moving into the neighborhood, said a staffer at Refinery, a shop on Smith Street that sells handmade pillows, bags and other accessories.

“This is a street that has a lot of small businesses,” the store clerk said. “It would be sad if a chain store were to affect these stores.  I don’t know if it will really affect this particular store though. The owner of this business makes all her products herself, and we’re not really in direct competition with Pier 1.”

Similarly, the owner of Fork + Pencil, a vintage houseware store located at 245 Warren St., said he wasn't fazed about a potential rival.

“There’s been an increasing number of chain stores entering the area which is unfortunate in some respects but it does reflect some of the changes in the area,” said Alex Grabcheski, owner of Fork + Pencil.

Local gyms in the neighborhood, however, weren’t as optimistic. Cobble Hill is already home to big gyms like Equinox, Curves, and Planet Fitness.

“It sounds horrible,” said Clavel Lazzare, owner of Cobble Hill Fitness Collective, located at 278 Court St. “The neighborhood is turning slowly into a shopping mall.

“Now a Retro Gym in between New York Sports Club, Equinox, and my place (Fitness Collective), is about as useful as a 10-pound weight around a drowning man. I feel like there is enough interesting variety in Brooklyn already to have people mostly get what they want.”