LONG ISLAND CITY — A pharmacy with locations in Brooklyn and Long Island will open a new drugstore in Court Square — a neighborhood that's seen an explosion of residential construction but is still lagging when it comes retail options.
City Chemist, which has existing stores in Williamsburg and Brooklyn Heights, will set up shop in a nearly 5,200-square-foot storefront on the ground floor of The Hayden, a luxury apartment building at 43-25 Hunter St. near 44th Road.
The building is owned by Rockrose Development Corp., which has built or renovated several properties in the neighborhood and leases space to a number of retail businesses, including M. Well Steakhouse, Toby's Estate Coffee and the soon-to-open Book Culture.
Patricia Dunphy, a senior vice president at Rockrose, said the company specifically sought out a pharmacy as their latest tenant because "everybody has been asking for" a drugstore in the neighborhood.
"We heard that this was something that people wanted," Dunphy said.
"I like the idea of these more independent drugstores," she added. "We didn’t want it to be just another strip of sort of chain stores."
City Chemist did not immediately return an email seeking comment about the new location. Dunphy says renovations recently started on the space, and the store will likely open sometime this winter.
Though thousands of apartments have been built or are under construction in the Court Square area, restaurants and stores have been slower to open as some retailers prefer to set up shop in better-known neighborhoods where they're guaranteed to find a base of customers.
"For all of these retailers, it's a little bit of a leap of faith," said Dunphy.
"This neighborhood is new, in a way, even though it's an old old neighborhood...It's an old neighborhood but with a big industrial base," she added. "You didn’t have [that] sort of homegrown retail that you would have in another neighborhood."
That's why Rockrose is searching for "interesting" tenants to fill the retail spaces in its buildings, Dunphy said.
In addition to the pharmacy, the developer is leasing a storefront in its Linc LIC apartment tower on Crescent Street and 43rd Avenue to Indie Food and Wine, a cafe which has its original location near Lincoln Center. That's expected to open in September, according to Dunphy.
Other restaurants slated for other Rockrose-owned buildings include Sapps, a Japanese eatery coming this summer to 2726 Jackson Ave., and Levante, a pizzeria expected to open soon at 2621 Jackson Ave.