Gap’s Fulton Mall opening highlights end of transition for Downtown Brooklyn

February 28, 2012 09:30AM

A Gap Factory Store that opened last week became the latest suburban-style addition to Brooklyn’s Fulton Mall, and according to the Brooklyn Paper, the opening is renewing tension among Downtown Brooklyn residents.

The Gap joins Aeropostale, Aldo, a forthcoming H&M and other national retailers on the strip once home to delis, small shoe and apparel stores and jewelry merchants.

Shoppers and commercial real estate executives weren’t the only one’s excited by the big box newcomer — representatives of the remaining small stores lauded the Gap’s arrival, too. “The big names add more value to the mall,” said Adam Sheikh, manager of nearb Fino Menswear and Shoes. “When the big names come in, more customers come to the Mall. That’s good for all the stores in the Mall.”

But Downtown activists argue real estate executives and storeowners don’t see the big picture. The increased national character being introduced to the area will only speed the rise in rents rents and loss of local flavor. They say it harms the long-term residents that made the area a success.

However, the Brooklyn Paper noted that the transition may already be complete, as Downtown Brooklyn and the Fulton Mall already command the highest commercial rents in the borough. [Brooklyn Paper]