DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership is encouraging Fulton Street businesses will roll up their solid steel gates for good.
By ridding the street of roll-down gates, the partnership hopes to create a more welcoming nighttime environment on the busy shopping corridor and is offering grants to local businesses willing to install open link gates to "lighten up the nighttime experience."
"Not only does installing open link gates help us as we work to transform Downtown Brooklyn into a 24/7 destination, but it is also likely to benefit a business's bottom line," said Katie Lyon, Services Manager for the Partnership, in a statement. "Many new residents to the area leave for work in the morning before stores open and return home after the stores close. They only see the stores with solid gates down and have no idea what they actually sell.”
The partnership will match up to $4,500 dollars in expenses incurred by businesses replacing their gates.
Fulton Hot Dog King was the first storefront on the strip to take advantage of the matching fund program. The longtime Fulton Street fixture spent $8,000 replacing its gates and the partnership covered 50 percent of costs.
A message left at the store was not immediately returned.
Lyon said that she is working to change business owner's perception that roll down gates make them less vulnerable to break-ins.
"A lot of these businesses have been on the street since the 70s and 80s when times were rough and barricading their store was necessary," she said. "I am trying to remind them about how far we've come."