The lines between the hip Bedford Avenue area in Williamsburg and the up-and-coming, but still gritty, East Williamsburg are beginning to blur. The Wall Street Journal reported that a stretch of Grand Street between Union and Bushwick avenues, an area that had a 14 percent commercial vacancy rate this April, is now seeing some new commercial tenants and has a vacancy rate below 10 percent. And along with this comes rising commercial rents.
A dance center, a boutique that features local clothing designers and a store for vintage items are among the shops that have opened in the past year. At the same time, the stretch of Grand Street has lost some furniture and clothing shops — about 10 empty storefronts are currently spread throughout the area.
“Mom-and-pop shops that are viable in today’s world will stay and the older ones will phase out,” David Maundrell, president of aptsandlofts.com, told the Journal.
However, the report stated that the luxury development that has happened on the north side of Williamsburg has not yet reached this area of Grand Street, and that bringing in foot traffic remains a challenge. [WSJ]