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'Barclays Effect' Drawing Big-Name Businesses to Flatbush Avenue

By Rachel Holliday Smith | June 9, 2014 8:41am | Updated on June 9, 2014 9:14am
 Half a dozen new businesses and building projects are coming to the blocks around Barclays Center on Flatbush Avenue this year.
New Businesses on Flatbush Avenue
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PROSPECT HEIGHTS Barclays Center has brought crowds, big-name musical acts and world-class sports to Brooklyn — and now the arena is drawing big businesses.

Several New York-based brand-name retailers are moving just blocks from the Flatbush Avenue arena this year, including the urgent care center chain CityMD, popular Manhattan eateries Parm and Doughnut Plant and the hit burger franchise Shake Shack.

The national banking chain TD Bank, too, will find a home on the avenue — the company recently signed a lease for a corner commercial space one block south of Barclays Center.

And those stores could be just the beginning of a business boom, real estate agents said.

Retail space on Flatbush Avenue between Atlantic Avenue and Dean Street — the block where the sports arena is located — fetched between $150 and $199 per square foot in 2014, up 100 percent from 2009, according to a report by CPEX Real Estate.

That range was the second-highest in the borough, falling behind only one other corridor — the Fulton Mall in downtown Brooklyn, where multiple national chain stores have opened.

Around the corner from the venue, retail prices on Fifth Avenue between Flatbush Avenue and Bergen Street priced in at $100 to $149 per square foot in 2014, also up 100 percent since 2009, making it the third-highest price tier in the borough, according to the report.

People now see Barclays Center as “an established marketplace,” CPEX partner Timothy King said, and they're “looking to get in."

“People are crossing Flatbush Avenue and exploring the benefits of the neighborhood,” he said. “As time goes on, there will be more and more destination-style tenants that will benefit from the arena effect.”

Clearly, property owners are preparing. Many storefronts on the avenue are vacant with "space available" signs in the windows. A “leasing” banner hangs from the former Triangle Sports building directly opposite the arena. Nearby, a former tile depot at Dean Street and Flatbush Avenue has been demolished to make way for an eight-story retail and residential building, its owners say.

And further up Flatbush Avenue, the owners of Brooklyn’s famous cheesecake destination Junior’s are making plans to allow a developer to build on their property, and may temporarily move near Barclays Center in the interim, according to The New York Times.

The broker managing the Junior’s deal, Bob Knakal of Massey Knakal Realty, said values are at “all-time record levels in Brooklyn,” particularly in the areas near downtown and on Flatbush Avenue.

“The whole area is changing very dramatically for the better,” Knakal said.

“And by nature of that change, you have a different type of retailer coming in, you have different types of folks moving into the area. A lot of people want to be there that in years past would not have considered the location.”

DNAinfo New York rounded up a sampling of the new stores, restaurants and businesses coming to Flatbush Avenue near Barclays Center soon, as well as new building projects on the horizon.


► Shake Shack, 170 Flatbush Ave. at Dean Street

The popular burger chain known for its long lines and rotating calendar of custard flavors is coming to Flatbush Avenue, with plans to open across from Barclays Center in early July, a company spokesman said. The building is currently under construction, with tape over its windows and plywood obscuring most of the façade.

► Parm, 208 and 210 Flatbush Ave. at Bergen Street

Those behind the SoHo Italian specialty shop Torrisi and sandwich joint Parm will serve up their popular chicken, eggplant and meatball parmesan sandwiches. They will move onto the Park Slope side of Flatbush Avenue this year, according to Michael Pintchik, the owner of the two buildings where the new eatery will lease ground-floor space. The building was formerly used as a medical office. The Department of Buildings approved plans for renovations there in April, records show.

► Doughnut Plant, 245 Flatbush Ave. at Sixth Avenue

Baker Mark Isreal’s doughnut shop known for cleverly filled, square treats is opening shop in Brooklyn in October, taking over space on the ground floor of the triangular building between Sixth Avenue and Bergen Street, a spokesman said this week. The popular doughnut shop already has two stores in Manhattan and several in Tokyo.

► City MD, 347 Flatbush Ave. at Park Place

The medical group CityMD has signed a 10-year lease for 3,500 square feet of space at the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Park Place, which they plan to turn into an urgent care center by the end of the year, according to the leasing agent for the building. The company’s new location will replace what was Dominican restaurant El Gran Castillo de Jagua, Uncle Louie G’s ice cream shop, Little Miss Muffin 'N' Her Stuffin' bakery, a bodega, a barber shop and a sushi restaurant.

► TD Bank, 482 and 484 Bergen St. at Flatbush Avenue

The national banking chain signed a lease for commercial space in two buildings, 482 and 484 Bergen St., which wrap around the southwest corner of Flatbush Avenue and Bergen Street, according to Michael Pintchik, the part-owner of Pintchik’s Hardware, which has been on the corner for decades. The bank will not replace the hardware store or any current tenants, Pintchik said. Rather, the buildings where TD leased space are currently vacant. Pintchik couldn’t say when the bank will open, and inquiries made to TD Bank were not returned.

Projects on the Horizon

► Junior’s Cheesecake, 386 Flatbush Ave. Ext. at Dekalb Avenue
The owners of the famous cheesecake brand and longtime Flatbush Avenue restaurant at DeKalb Avenue announced plans this spring to sell the 17,000-square-foot space to a developer willing to allow the restaurant to occupy the ground floor of whatever is built, according to the agent handling the sale. Knakal of Massey Knakal said they’ve had “a tremendous amount” of interest in the property, though haven’t settled on a deal. Knakal said the property has no height restrictions and whatever is built will likely be a large residential tower with a “retail element.”

► Triangle Sports Building, 182 Flatbush Ave. at Dean Street
This three-story triangular building at the corner of Flatbush Avenue, Fifth Avenue and Dean Street was home to Triangle Sports for nearly 100 years, according to reports. Its location directly across from Barclays Center may explain the $4.1 million Red Sky Capital paid for it in 2012. Since then, the real estate development firm hasn’t done much with the building, but sources said the group has “dramatic” plans in the works that may include extending the height of the building. The block is zoned for a maximum height of 80 feet. Calls and inquiries to Red Sky Capital were not returned.

► Bergen Tile Building, 215 Flatbush Ave. at Dean Street
This low building at the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Dean Street was home to the Bergen Tile Company since 1972, according to Martin Domansky of PRD Realty, and was razed last month to make way for an eight-story mixed-use building that will include 6,000 to 7,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor and rental apartments above. Domansky said PRD will submit final plans for the site to the DOBs by the end of the summer. “We’re ready to go,” he said.