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Ready to feel incredibly conflicted? Here goes: According to the Real Deal, Sephora is one of the major chains newly interested in Brooklyn now that the Barneys Co-op is slated to move in. The real estate agent who helped bring Trader Joe's and Urban Outfitters to Atlantic Avenue told the paper that Sephora has its eye on the Fulton Street Mall, which would make it relatively accessible to shoppers all around brownstone Brooklyn. For locals who've been trekking into the city for non-drugstore makeup, this could be huge.
So what's the downside? Well, let's give the floor to Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York—a job that requires him to be really excited about the arrival of massive Aeropostale and Disney stores in Times Square. At a conference on the future of retail on Wednesday, Spinola pointed out that Brooklyn is dramatically under-malled. The population of Long Island is roughly the same size as the population of Brooklyn, but while Long Island has a mall for every 386,000 people, Brooklyn only has one mall for every 2.5 million. If you're an unequivocal champion of retail development, there's really only one conclusion to draw: Brooklyn should become more like Long Island.
Of course, all those young shoppers who've made Brooklyn attractive to brands like Barneys and Sephora moved to the borough precisely because it's not like Long Island. Benjamin Fox, vice president of Winick Realty Group, told The Real Deal that nobody should worry too much about mallification. "There is a place for everything," he said. "The big-box retailers help the local city by retaining money that would otherwise be in the suburbs." Then again, we're not totally sure we can trust him: One of his examples of neighborhoods suffering from a lack of retail is the independent-boutique–crammed Lower East Side.
· Slew of retailers head to Downtown Brooklyn [The Real Deal]
· Barneys Co-op Makes Brooklyn Safe for High-End Retail [Racked NY]