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Brooklyn’s trendy retail districts boom as Manhattan’s sit vacant

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Manhattan’s struggling retail scene seems to get all the eye. It appears that evidently for each fully or mostly leased, high-profile corridor like Broadway in Soho, there’s a stretch stuffed with yawning vacancies — equivalent to on Broadway in Tribeca.

But Brooklyn’s retail picture is rosier. Although wounded by pandemic shutdowns and the rise of online shopping before then, much of the borough appears in remarkably sound shape. You may not know there was ever a crisis if you happen to stroll along 86th Street in Bensonhurst, John Travolta’s “Saturday Night Fever” stomping ground, which has few dark storefronts.

Now, a latest report from the Real Estate Board of Recent York documents the retail resiliency in such trendy neighborhoods as Williamsburg, Cobble Hill, and Greenpoint. The info compiled from April to October found that strong demand “contributed to a depletion of storefront space in prime corridors as Bedford Avenue South in Williamsburg, Court Street, and Cobble Hill and Franklin Street in Greenpoint.”

The scarcity of accessible storefronts drove retailers to hunt latest locations in “emerging corridors” including Myrtle Avenue in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights, and Flushing Avenue in Bushwick.

REBNY also reports that surging tourism prompted national retailers and franchises to open stores or explore options in Downtown Brooklyn and Park Slope. Amongst them are: Burlington, Trader Joe’s, and Lifetime Fitness.

People walking and relaxing at outdoor tables in Greenpoint, NY.
A latest report from the Real Estate Board of NY shows retail resiliency in trendy neighborhoods equivalent to Williamsburg, Cobble Hill, and Greenpoint.

People walking through the streets in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
The report found that strong demand “contributed to a depletion of storefront space in prime corridors equivalent to Bedford Avenue South in Williamsburg.”

A picture of a neighborhood in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
The City Council voted to approve plans for Innovation QNS, a five-block mixed-use complex in Astoria.

People walking through the streets of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
One other report showed that surging tourism prompted national retailers and franchises to open stores or explore options in Downtown Brooklyn.

People walking past Cobble Hill Cinemas in the Cobble Hill neighborhood in Brooklyn.
People were seen walking past Cobble Hill Cinemas in Brooklyn.

It’s even helped lure brands from Manhattan, equivalent to Japanese outdoor lifestyle brand Snow Peak, which moved from Soho to Williamsburg.

Astoria project approved

In the long run, the City Council voted to approve plans for Innovation QNS, the five-block mixed-use complex in Astoria. We reported last week that the total Council might still nix it despite the blessing of its own zoning subcommittee.

But props to Council member Julie Won, who got here out for the proposal after earlier saying that the sooner approval was “only preliminary.” Won had fought to have the project include cheaper housing units than the developers first offered.

It looks like a pleased ending throughout.  

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