The Fulton Street Mall, and the surrounding areas, is getting a makeover. The New York Times reported that the Brooklyn shopping area is becoming a place where national retailers are setting up shop.
One example is Raymour & Flanigan, which is set to open a 28,000-square-foot store in Feburary at 490 Fulton Street. Other area retailers include Victoria’s Secret, Armani Exchange, Nordstrom Rack, Century 21 — the first department store to open in the neighborhood in the past 50 years — and H&M.
The reason for such changes? According to the Times, it’s the increasing population of students, new hotels with more than 1,000 rooms and 5,200 residential units built over the past six years, as well as scores of office workers and shoppers. And it’s not just clothing retailers. Panera has opened at 345 Adams Street, and leases at the same property have been signed by Sugar & Plumm and a Potbelly Sandwich Shop.
Retail rents are evidence of the demand. Hymie Dweck, an associate director at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank Retail, told the Times that whereas rents used to be $150 to $200 a foot, there’s now a site he’s marketing at which rents reach $240 per foot.
This change doesn’t come without its opponents. Some have voiced concerns that lower-income-bracket shoppers will be sent elsewhere to shop. [NYT]