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Brooklyn retail heating up in spite of nationwide chill

You may have heard that the national retail market is cooling off across the country – but here in Brooklyn, the retail scene is actually heating up. That is great news for Brooklynites, visitors, brokers, retailers, and our city’s economy.

JOHN-BANKS-REBNY-WATCH-300x180REBNY’s Winter 2017 Brooklyn Retail Report found that average asking rents for ground floor retail spaces have increased along seven of the borough’s major retail corridors in comparison to winter 2016. This biannual report, based on data provided by REBNY’s Commercial Brokerage Brooklyn and Retail Committees, remains a leading resource for industry leaders.

The new report revealed that Greenpoint’s Franklin Street, between Meserole Avenue and Commercial Street, experienced the largest year-over- year increase in average asking rent for ground floor retail. Rents along this corridor, which have undergone rapid change with new residential projects and retail spaces, surged 41 percent, to $89 per square foot.

As broker Peter Levitan of Lee & Associates put it, Greenpoint’s high-quality residential growth and exciting architecture played a huge role in that surge.

“The esthetic of the buildings is exactly what tenants are looking for,” he said.

Another Brooklyn corridor on the rise is Park Slope’s Seventh Avenue, between Union and Ninth Streets, which saw ground floor retail rents jump 35 percent, to $129 per square foot. Our report showed that this growth was likely the result of low ground floor retail inventory being concentrated in more desirable locations along the corridor, which drove asking rents up.

And in Downtown Brooklyn on Fulton Street, between Boerum Place and Flatbush Avenue, ground floor retail rents increased eight percent, to $326 per square foot. Deals in this bustling corridor have been moving at a brisk pace due to new residential buildings and the potential for retail spillover from the nearby City Point project, which is essentially shifting the center of gravity along the Fulton Mall corridor.

In virtually every case, it is clear that new residential development and density is playing a crucial role in bolstering the Brooklyn retail market. These projects are not just providing much-needed housing – they are helping to drive the borough’s and the city’s economy.

Meanwhile, our report also found that asking rents for ground floor retail space remained flat in three Brooklyn corridors and declined in five others. The declines were attributed in part to the concentration of available retail spaces in the lower-priced periphery of these corridors.

Overall, this is an exciting time for Brooklynites and retail industry leaders across the borough. Amid all the negative news about nationwide retail, we should not forget about the success taking place in our own backyard.

I encourage you to read REBNY’s full Winter 2017 Brooklyn Retail Report, which is available on our website, and share it with any interested colleagues.

In other REBNY news:

On Tuesday, April 25th, from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m., our Residential Breakfast Club seminar featuring Jeff Appel, Ryan Fitzpatrick of Town Flatiron, LLC, and Leigh Godwin of The Corcoran Group, will discuss how to help your client decide whether to rent or to buy. The experts will delve into the communication, strategy, and solid analysis of today’s market that is imperative in helping your client make what could be a major life decision. Visit to register for this free seminar for REBNY residential members.

Trish Martin, Managing Director of Sales, Halstead Property, LLC – Brooklyn, will lead our Sales Agent Boot Camp Seminar, “Are you smart enough to know what you don’t know? Building your team of Experts,” on Tuesday, May 2 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at REBNY. This free seminar is open to REBNY residential members. Register online at

Charles R. Bendit of Taconic Investment Partners, Michael Geoghegan of CBRE, Inc., Jonathan L. Mechanic, Esq. of Fried, Frank, Harris, and Shriver & Jacobson, and Neil L. Rock, Esq., Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom will speak on the panel at our Commercial Seminar,

“Negotiating for New Construction” to be moderated by Michael Laginestra of CBRE, Inc. on Tuesday, May 9 th from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. at REBNY. Visit to register.

Calling all NYC house hunters who are looking to #LiveUptown! Join us at our free Uptown Open House Expo on Sunday, May 21 st to view available cooperative, condominium, and townhouse listings for sale and new development rental exclusives in Harlem, Washington Heights, and Inwood. All listings will be shown from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m., following a breakfast Meet & Greet from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. at Minton’s Harlem, 206 West 118th Street. Visit to register for the Meet & Greet or contact for more information.

Join residential management professionals as they share their best practices at the Residential Management Council’s educational series held from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. at REBNY. Bill Brake, Vice President at Related Companies, will discuss budgeting strategies on Thursday, May 18th. Adam Bautista, Compliance Manager at Rose Associates, will lead Part II of the building compliance regulations seminar on Tuesday, May 30. Each seminar is free for REBNY members or $15 per seminar for non-members. Visit to register or contact for more information.

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