Former Brooklyn haunted house counting on “halo effect” to attract tenants

Schuckman Realty marketing 45,000-square-feet building in neighborhood near Barclays Center
By Rich Bockmann | June 30, 2014 03:30PM

A Former Haunted House Across The Street from the Barclays Center is looking to scare up a national retail tenant or a sports-themed restaurant in one of Brooklyn’s prime retail corridors.

Woodbury, L.I.-based Schuckman Realty is marketing 45,000 square feet of retail space in a vacant building across Flatbush Avenue from the arena. It’s an area where rents have doubled over the past five years, topping out around $200 per square foot.

The three-story building, at 604 Pacific Street, last played home to a haunted house, And Though The Property Fronts Along The Side Street it does face the front doors of the arena that opened in September 2012.

The building is not much to look at, and broker Kenneth Schuckman said the owner is considering renovating the property if he cannot find a large tenant who will come in and do the work.

“The whole thing is hollow inside. We could do whatever we want,” he said, explaining he envisions a “multi-conceptual” arrangement that takes full advantage of the proximity to the arena, the Atlantic Terminal transit hub and more than 6,000 residential units coming to Forest City Ratner’s Atlantic Yards project.

“We’re thinking about a bowling alley, restaurants. There are a number of different uses, like outdoor seating on the roof top,” he added.

Schuckman said he has been in talks with a sports-marketing agent representing an athlete who is interested in investing in a restaurant, and options such as placing billboards on top of the building are also on the table.

Tenants in neighboring buildings include Verizon and Shake Shack, and the small corridor toward the arena’s northwestern corner is one of the hottest in the borough.

The two-block stretch of Flatbush Avenue between Pacific and Dean streets is one of nine retail corridors in Brooklyn that have seen rents double since 2009, and one of three corridors where rents range from $150 to $199 per square foot, according to CPEX Real Estate Services.

CPEX Managing Partner Timothy King said the arena induced what he called the “halo effect” around the area immediately outside its doors.

“Part of the big halo effect from arena is people looking for a venue to go before or after events,” he said. “If you look left you can’t help but see this location.”

In fact, rents to the south of the two-block stretch drop down to the $80 to $99-per-square-foot range.

King predicts the building will attract a large tenant at lower rent than the $199-per-foot ceiling. Still, he said, the long-vacant building will ride the area’s wave of escalating rents.

“I think the owner probably had unrealistic expectations for a really long time,” he said. “The time may have come that he will realize them.”