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Local Stores Respond to Being Kicked Out of Williamsburg

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One reason why Williamsburg is losing neighborhood businesses? Space Ninety 8. Photo by <a href="http://peladopelado.com">Driely S.</a> for Racked
One reason why Williamsburg is losing neighborhood businesses? Space Ninety 8. Photo by Driely S. for Racked

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The New York Post has finally caught up with the obvious: Williamsburg has changed, and not in the favor of local business owners. Exhibit A: Academy Record Annex and children's clothing shop The Flying Squirrel fleeing North 6th Street—now home to Urban Outfitters' Space Ninety 8—several months ago for cheaper rent in Greenpoint.

"It became one of the main retail blocks in the neighborhood, and we were part of that and then got kicked out," Academy Record owner Mike Davis told the paper. "I didn't feel great about it."

Indeed, retail real estate guru Faith Consolo said that average rents have risen to $150 a square foot, which ushers in the likes of Whole Foods, J. Crew and sister brand Madewell, Maje, and several more.

"I don't think that's what the neighborhood needs, but if it means I can get more rent for mine, I'm happy," David Winter, owner of 167 N. 9th Street, told the Post. And due to mindsets like Winter's, residents have had to say goodbye to indie favorites like Mini Mini Market and Cute Attack.

But it's not like individuality is dead in Williamsburg—boutiques like Swords-Smith, Brooklyn Running Co., Sprout Home, and Electric Nest are forging a new brand of neighborhood indie.

"Independents give color; they give flavor and make the neighborhood what it is," said Halina Jankowski, who moved her Northside Pharmacy to Driggs Avenue from 182 Bedford Avenue (now home to a Dunkin' Donuts). "If they disappear, then you are just like everybody else."
· Williamsburg Is Losing Its Eclectic Retailers [NYP]
· All Williamsburg Posts [Racked NY]

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