The Real Deal New York

Williamsburg’s independent retailers are retreating

Over the last year, rent increased 60 percent in Williamsburg
June 01, 2014 03:00PM

 As Williamsburg rents continue to soar, an all-too-familiar cycle is playing out. The hip independent retailers that helped make the neighborhood a hipster hot spot are being forced out.

“It became one of the main retail blocks in the neighborhood, and we were part of that and then got kicked out,” Mike Davis, who for a decade operated Academy Record Annex on North 6th Street, said referring to his shop’s location. “I didn’t feel great about it.”

In the last year alone, rents rose 60 percent, to $150 a square foot or more, Faith Consolo, chairman of Douglas Elliman Real Estate’s retail group, told the New York Post.

And as small retailers are forced out the big chains are moving in. A Whole Foods Market Is Currently Under Construction On Bedford Avenue, and J. Crew and Apple have recently expressed interest in the neighborhood.

“Independents give color; they give flavor and make the neighborhood what it is,” Halina Jankowski, who co-founded Northside Pharmacy, said. Recently the pharmacy was forced out of Its Bedford Avenue space and replaced by a Dunkin’ Donuts. “If they disappear, then you are just like everybody else.” [NYP] Christopher Cameron

  • alex

    boo hoo

    • Now the hipsters have to venture out into the less desirable neighborhoods they once pushed the original Williamsburg Brooklyn families into. Boo hoo boo hoo boo hoo is right. See you guys in East New York.

  • alex

    and who did the hipsters replace? shouldn’t we also mourn their disappearance!

    • JohannaHolkhamred321

      my mum
      just purchased GMC Yukon SUV just by some parttime working online at home…
      find more info F­i­s­c­a­l­p­o­s­t­.­C­O­M­

  • chrisC

    That Northside Pharmacy wasn’t even open 24/7. The newish Duane Reade across the street is. I’ll take 24/7 over not 24/7 any day of the week.

    • 85ZingoGTR

      I never understood the concept of hours on a pharmacy let alone health insurance. Because my body will only have a medical emergency during work hours.

  • RSJ

    This article brings up an old wound… that of my entire family being uprooted from the area by a landlord loophole, whereby landlords can evict rent controlled/stabilized tenants for their personal use or the use (or an immediate family members use) of the apt. The caveat being that the landlord/family member had/have to occupy the unit for 3 years. Of course, how can one go against the landlord who violated that law when, after you are evicted, they renovate the apt and rent it to a non family member, when the legal system was paid off and turned a blind eye?

    • Hersh

      I’m happy that your landlord found a away around the communist laws.

  • David Schorr

    What do people expect – for landlords to charge below market rents? Would these shopkeepers charge below MSRP for their products?

  • Timmy

    And now where does everyone go? Bed Stuy and Bushwick?

    • 85ZingoGTR

      Pretty much. And then eventually when those areas soar they will go to East New York and Brownsville after NYCHA gives up their project buildings to be converted to luxury condos. Pretty much happening now in the South Bronx.

  • 85ZingoGTR

    What I don’t understand is, how the hell do these hipsters afford those outrageous rents? As far as I know NONE of them have any careers that earn them a good killing. Most of them spend their time doing useless stuff like art, freelance photography, and smoke pot. They must be living like 10 in a studio or something.

  • Poor hipsters. Are they now on the other end of the stick and complaining about it? ALL of the mom & pop stores I knew growing up (I’m an original Williamsburg Brooklyn Boy) were pushed out by 2002 by thw slightly deeper pocketed hipsters. Being in real estate, I’m amazed to see so many hipsters begging me to find them apartments in areas like East NY Brooklyn and Ridgewood Queens because they can no longer afford Williamsburg, Greenpoint, or even Bushwick. What do you think this change means for to furure of Williamsburg?