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.