Brooklyn is booming.
Exactly how much is easy to see when you look at the biggest retail projects announced for the borough over the past year, as compiled by the New York real estate website, The Real Deal.
The largest lease of the year was scored by Wegmans, the family-owned supermarket giant, which will develop a 74,000-square-foot space at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC) announcedin May of 2015 that plans for redeveloping Admirals Row – a section of the Brooklyn Navy Yard that has remained unused since the ’70s, but where Wegmans will be located – were underway and expected to create more than 1,200 jobs in total.
“This is a tremendous win for this community and for the people of New York City,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said after the deal was announced. “For thousands of residents who have waited for a supermarket with healthy food they can afford, for the people hoping the next good job at the Navy Yard could be theirs, the Admirals Row project delivers. We’re going to see hundreds of good jobs, modern manufacturing, a new community center, and a supermarket that’s responsive to the needs of our families. It’s not often that one project can do all these things.”
The second biggest lease signing of 2015 went to clothing store Forever 21. The fashion retailer snagged a 40,000-square-foot in Downtown Brooklyn at 490 Fulton Street. The clothing store plans to open an even lower-priced F21 Red outlet store at the location, writes The Real Deal.
Food stores Fairway Market, to open at 2181-2195 Ralph Avenue in the Georgetown Shopping Center, and Dekalb Market Hall, slated to open within the next year at City Point in Downtown Brooklyn, took the number three and number four spots on the biggest retail leases list. The new Fairway will have 40,000 square feet of space with Dekalb Market Hall close behind with 30,000.
Also at 30,000 square feel is Saks Off Fifth—a discount priced outlet version of Saks Fifth Avenue—slated to open at Sunset Park’s Liberty View Industrial Plaza by summer of this year. The store will occupy space on the ground floor of the eight-story commercial building at 850 Third Avenue.
“What makes the building so intriguing is that this year, 2016, it will celebrate its 100th birthday,” Managing Partner of CPEX Retail Leasing Team, Timothy King said of the future Saks location earlier this month. “In its first life, it was used as a Navy warehouse. It had been empty for a long time.
“People have been happy regarding all the opportunities this will bring,” he continued. “As you bring more life to the streets and more workers benefit by job opportunities, you are going to have the ultimate rising tide. I can’t think of anyone this won’t be good for.”
Number six on the biggest lease list goes to Nike, opening up its first store in Brooklyn at 2236 Nostrand Avenue near the Flatbush-Nostrand Junction in a 20,000-square-foot space once occupied by Canal Jeans, followed by the Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet taking the number seven spot with a 20,000-square-foot space in DUMBO.
Leases eight and nine both belong to Trader Joe’s, with one 18,000-square-foot supermarket planned for City Point in Downtown Brooklyn and another 18,000-square-foot market planned for Kent Avenue in Williamsburg.
Blink Fitness, a New York-based gym, made the list at number 10 with a 16,700-square-foot space at 227 Fourth Avenue in Park Slope, formerly the Brooklyn Lyceum – a public bathhouse turned event space.