Barclays Center retailers squeezed by rent hikes

August 25, 2013 02:00PM

Landlords of retail spaces within a half-mile radius of the Barclays Center have begun to significantly increase rents.

The idea of raising rents for shops and restaurants near the arena in Downtown Brooklyn has been talked about since the project was announced in 2008, Crain’s reported. But only now does it seem as though landlords are doing more than just talking about it.

For example, the landlord of the Chocolate Room, a 10-year-old dessert and coffee café at 86 Fifth Avenue, five blocks from the Barclays Center, is now demanding $13,500 a month, well above its current rent. Although Jon Josepher, owner of the Chocolate Room, has submitted a counteroffer of $7,000 a month, the landlord is refusing to budge.

Area landowners are arguing that the 18,000-seat arena will bring in enough business to local retailers to justify the rent hikes. Local store and restaurant owners, however, are arguing that this theoretical leap in revenue is nowhere to be seen. [Crain’s] – James Comtois