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Housing Works Thrift Shops Coming Back to Montague St.!

Who says there’s no good news anymore? The tip came from a friend and neighbor via text tonight.Housing Works is coming back to Montague St.!You may recall, to the dismay of the entire neighborhood, Housing Works closed shop at the location on Montague off Henry St. in March 2017, and was replaced by Halstead Real Estate. Housing Works will now move into the location that Halstead vacated at 150 Montague St., next to Francesca’s. The best switcheroo imaginable!We no longer have to trek to Park Slope to donate gently-used items to help fund Housing Works’ invaluable support of the homeless and people living with HIV. Or to find that like-new, stunning, mid-century sofa you never thought you needed, but really do…

Goodbye, Teresa’s?

Thanks to reader AbbeyK we have a link to a real estate ad that lists 80 Montague Street, Teresa’s Restaurant, as for lease. If it is leased to a new tenant, your correspondent may have to go far afield – Greenpoint?; East Village? – to get his tripe soup and kielbasa fix. Moreover, Brooklyn’s elite will have to find a new power breakfast spot. And what could afford the $18K/month rent the ad asks? Applebee’s? The Cheesecake Factory? The Olive Garden? God help us.Say it ain’t so!

Vacant Retail Spaces: Why? What, If Anything, Can Be Done?

You would have to have been in Brooklyn Heights for over five years to remember when the last tenant, Starbucks, moved out of 112 Montague Street (photo) to a smaller space a block away. Since then, apart from being used as storage space for Lassen & Hennigs next door, the space has lain fallow. While there are no similar long-term vacancies on Montague (well; there’s the Bossert, which is not quite vacant because of a few holdover tenants, but that’s another story), there are others not far away.Why? Greedy landlords? Bricks-and-mortar retail is dying because …

After 137 years, this landmark church finally got a building permit

The city of Barcelona has finally issued a building permit for La Sagrada Família, an architectural landmark in the Spanish city that has been under construction since 1882. The city licensed a committee to finish the construction of the Roman Catholic basilica and charge a fee of 4.6 million euros ($5.2 million), CNN reported. License fee proceeds will fund efforts to soften the local impact of the church’s global appeal: 4.5 million people a year …

New York Times Notes Transformation of Montague Street

In Sunday’s New York Times Metropolitan Section, Ginia Bellafante’s Big City column has the title “The Empty Storefront Crisis and the End of the American Dream”. She begins by telling the story of Sam I-Rumi, proprietor of Pet’s Emporium on Montague Street (photo, by C. Scales), who immigrated to New York in 1980 at the age of eighteen. After nine years here he opened his store on Montague; its survival for thirty years makes Ms. Bellafante describe it, and him, as “the hardiest plant in the most unforgiving weather.”Of Montague Street as a whole, Ms. Bellafante writes:“Once the prime shopping artery of an…

Bye for Meow, Clark Pet

Early Monday afternoon, this text message (which I’ve edited for clarity) hit my phone:Dear valued customers,This is Mike, the owner of Clark Pet. Due to the very high rent of Clark Pet store, the store is moving to DUMBO, to my giant big branch store named Pet Promise located at 140 Plymouth St. under the Manhattan Bridge. The store is doing full service grooming, boarding, cat sitting, etc. To book a grooming appointment or to have free delivery, you can call or text 347 – 247 – 4963.By early Tuesday evening, the store at 57 Clark Street was virtually empty, and Mike was both overseeing and participating in the major clean-up and moving operation.“The new store is huge!” …

Friend of a Farmer Building On the Market for $3.85 million

Cushman and Wakefield have been retained to coordinate the sale of 76 Montague Street, the two-story building most recently home of Friend of a Farmer.The building will be delivered vacant and could be developed as retail or residential.According to the listing, “76 Montague Street is an incredible opportunity for investors, developers, and users alike to secure an asset with significant upside in Brooklyn’s most affluent neighborhood.”More details here.Massey/Knakel photo from listing.

Will Hell Freeze Over? Bossert Said to Have “Soft Opening” in August

Brownstoner reports that the Bossert Hotel, at Montague and Hicks streets, may have a “soft opening” in August, followed by a “hard opening” in September. The owners have applied for a liquor license, in which they have disclosed these details:The liquor license will cover a restaurant on the ground floor and a bar in the lobby (which will have live piano music), two ballrooms (used for weddings and other events) and a bar on the 14th floor that has both indoor and outdoor …

Long shadow of Toys “R” Us closure boosts competitors, leaves toymakers reeling

Toymakers are struggling to stay afloat in a world without Toys “R” Us. Mattel saw its annual sales fall by 8 percent last year, according to The Associated Press. Hasbro had a 12 percent drop in sales, as the sudden absence of Toys “R” Us stores made it harder to find shelves for their products. Competing retailers like Target, Walmart and Party City all expanded their toy offerings since last spring, when Toys “R” Us …

Why South Africa’s construction industry is on shaky ground

A South Africa construction group is calling on the government to intervene following a series of recent episodes in which $1.8 billion worth of building projects have been disrupted by armed groups around the country. A letter from the South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors, a lobbying group, to the country’s finance minister, Tito Mboweni, details the incidents and their impact on investor confidence and the country’s construction industry, which has seen a flight …

Two more retail tenants sign on at Macklowe’s 432 Park

UPDATED March 16, 2019, 9:21p.m.: The massive photo portrait of Harry Macklowe and his new wife isn’t the only new thing at 432 Park Avenue. At a panel at 92Y’s third annual City of Tomorrow summit, Cushman & Wakefield’s executive vice chairman Joanne Podell revealed that two more tenants had signed leases at the 130,000-square-foot commercial component of Macklowe’s luxury condominium tower. New York Post columnist Steve Cuozzo was making a larger point about how […

Grand Canyon to Return to Montague Street

Those of you who, like me, miss Grand Canyon’s superb burgers are in for a treat. While the “Restaurant For Lease” sign remains above the former Armando’s site at 143 Montague (see photo by your correspondent taken this evening), the Commercial Observer reports that the restaurant’s owner, who kept open another Grand Canyon in Park Slope, has taken that space and will return to Montague. It will be right next door to Grand Canyon’s old location, now occupied by B.Good.The one downside to this, although it was probably foreordained by Armando’s closing, is that we will lose the Armando’s sign with

Hudson Yards’ tax breaks are bigger than Amazon’s would have been

Over a period of more than 10 years, government tax breaks and incentives to support Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group’s development of Hudson Yards total about $6 billion. That’s double the package of tax breaks and incentives Amazon’s Long Island City campus was trying to secure before the company scrapped its plans, the New York Times reports. Related Hudson Yards’ president L. Jay Cross told the publication the 28-acre complex that contains 13 buildings …

What the trade of this luxury hotel brand means for the hospitality industry

In what is thought to be the first deal of its kind, Best Western has acquired European indie hotel chain, WorldHotels. The global hotel industry has been going through big changes in recent years, as online booking and homesharing cracked open new opportunities for independent hotels. In response, large hotel chains have launched dozens of “soft brands”, semi-independent collections of hotels that can offer differentiated experiences to travelers. This week, Best Western upped the ante …

Goodbye, Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable? Also 192 Montague, AKA 200 Montague, to be Razed for Residential?

For some years now my wife and I have patronized Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable, at 181 Atlantic Avenue, a few doors west of Sahadi’s, for fresh produce at reasonable prices. It appears this may be coming to an end soon. According to Brooklyn Community Board 2, the agenda for its Land Use Committee meeting to be held at 6:00 PM tomorrow, Wednesday, February 20 at NYU Tandon School of Engineering, Dibner Building, Room LC400, 5 Metrotech Center (on the north side of the Metrotech Commons) includes this item:181 Atlantic Avenue — Brooklyn Heights Historic District — Application is to demolish the existing, …

The cost of natural disasters last year? $91B

Natural disasters caused $91 billion in damage to the United States last year, a federal government study has found. Amid growing global concern for climate change, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration analyzed the aftermath of 14 natural disasters that occurred during 2018, and found that it was the fourth most costly year on record for such events, as reported by CNBC. The most devastating events were the California wildfires, Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas …

This is the world’s “money-laundering paradise”

Everything’s bigger in Dubai. Home to the world’s tallest building since 2010, the emirate’s real estate industry could also be one of the world’s largest money laundromats. Transparency International, the anti-corruption group behind the annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), has now joined the chorus of voices decrying the city-state’s weak regulations and lax enforcement, according to Forbes. With the release of its latest CPI results, Transparency International singled out Dubai for special

Shop Small? Find Out What Can Be Done To Fight “Mallification” At BHS Thursday Evening

This Thursday evening, November 29 starting at 6:30 the Brooklyn Historical Society will present “Malls vs. Bodegas: Resisting the Suburbanization of the City.” This panel discussion will be moderated by Paul Goldberger, contributing editor of Vanity Fair. Admission is $5, or free for BHS members. Make reservations and more information here.

Goodbye, Chip Shop, and Other Neighborhood Changes

Your correspondent was deeply saddened, on arriving for his and his wife’s (this time joined by some neighbors) usual Friday night dinner at the Chip Shop, to find at the top of the extensive beers, ales, and ciders menu a note that the place would close at the end of this weekend, having lost its lease. I returned today to enjoy one last Full English Breakfast and the company of others who had been regulars there, as well as some I hadn’t met before, and of long time bartender Liz Drobits (photo).Atlantic Avenue has lost one other watering hole. Last weekend, as I was walking …