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Fulton St. Mall - next to gentrify??

The New York Observer's Matthew Schuerman reports this week on the planned remake of the Fulton Street Mall's anchor stores and a general ideological change in what stores they have and what type of customers they attract. Timely enough, the Brooklyn real-estate blogosphere has been rife with commentary on racial undertones of all types, especially this past week's post by Brownstoner of an alleged graffiti marking on the walls of a public housing project.

Apparently, the author of a Pratt Center study has deemed the mall too black and doesn't do enough to attract the mainly white constituency surrounding the mall. But Michael Burke, one of the panelists, denied the existence of a 'race-based marketing strategy.'

Although the term 'blight' was used in the article, the economic success of the mall is ostensibly indisputable. Retail rents at some stores, about $100 to $125 a square foot, match those on Grand and Mercer Sts. in Soho. Massey Knakal also claims that over 100,000 people walk through the outdoor mall a day, more than on Madison Avenue. In addition, there was some empirical evidence that some retail stores' rents are upwards of $40,000 a month!! Obviously, people are shopping here.

It would be quite a shame if they bought in stores like Laura Ashley, Anne Klein and the like, as we constantly find ourselves going there to find the latest sneakers at Foot Action, Foot Locker, Footaction and the numerous other independently-owned sneaker stores.


At February 18, 2006 3:12 PM, Blogger Escap said...

The schuerman link doesn't seem to work. Can you explain this? I guess all of the retail stores in the mall are renters, so they have no say, but who exactly owns the mall properties? I assumed it was decentralized. Is it the city? A developer? Do the owners think they can make more $$ by bringing in new tenants? It does seem illogical given the consistent crowds and profitability over time.

At February 18, 2006 4:35 PM, Blogger ltjbukem said...

link works now. thanks for noting

At March 06, 2006 12:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Metrotech is expanding one block towards Pratt, there is a finished gymn/sports complex waiting to open at Prince/Myrtle, there's a rumor that the projects have already been set-up for individual elec/gas meters, and are not city owned. The powers that be want some amount of symmetry across Flatbush, it's just too simple.


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