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The New York Observer sums up the current predicament of the Fulton Street Mall in one long headline: "Will Brooklyn Flock to Fulton Street’s New Chain Stores? Isn't That Why We Left Pittsburgh Behind to Begin With?" On the one hand, the arrival of stores like H&M, Aeropostale, and TJ Maxx is hailed by boosters as a step up for the strip, which in recent years has been populated by dollar stores. But while those chains might bring in more foot traffic—and appeal to the yuppies living in the surrounding brownstone neighborhoods—they don't exactly add much personality to the region.
The problem, of course, is that personality doesn't lead to cash flow. Right now, Fulton Street landlords can charge $200 a square foot—even more if they manage to snag a national chain. That's a lot more than the $50 a foot charged by landlords on quirky, boutique-heavy Smith Street. Even Atlantic Avenue real estate only commands $70 a square foot. (All of these numbers come from Prudential Douglas Elliman via the Observer.)
We won't go into the many other issues raised by the four-page story, because it's worth reading the whole thing in full. But here are three items of note:
1.) When Albee Square's City Point building opens next year, it might contain a Target. Which means Brooklyn would have two Targets within a half-mile radius. This isn't news (we reported it back in 2007) but it's still mind-boggling five years later.
2.) Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz says the store he most wants for the Fulton Mall is a Nordstrom's, though a Nordstrom Rack would work too. This has also been going on for five years now.
3.) While reporter Matt Chaban was conducting interviews on Fulton for the story, he was interrupted by a commotion. It turned out to be Drake buying a Toronto Blue Jays cap at Quick Strike. Writes Chaban: "Even in Canada, they know the Fulton Mall."
· Whose Mall Is It Anyway: Will Brooklyn Flock to Fulton Street’s New Chain Stores? [NYO]
· Exclusive: Another Target Planned For Brooklyn [Racked NY]
· Unrealistic Nordstrom To Brooklyn Rumor Has Resurfaced [Racked NY]