Monday, April 6, 2009

Fulton Street, Downtown Brooklyn: Will Its Glory Days Return?

Fulton Street in Downtown Brooklyn is again undergoing a "transition." Here are a few of the latest pluses and minuses.

On the plus side:

+ The $15 million Fulton Streetscape Project (left) continues. The project will create improved landscaping, modern street furniture, and additional seating and public spaces on Fulton Street. Downtown Brooklyn Partnership

+ H & M will be opening on Fulton Street (at Bridge) in spring, 2010.

On the minus side:

- City Point, which was supposed to transform the Albee Square site on Fulton Street into Brooklyn's tallest (65 stories?) building, is on "pause," according to Crain's NY.

- The asking retail rents on Fulton Street have fallen by a third from their high in 2007, again according to Crain's.

- An Arby's fast food joint -- not Amy Ruth's -- is moving into the landmarked building that housed Gage & Tollner for more than a century.

- A second-hand shop -- Unique Thrift Store -- will be moving into space that was supposed to be a Steve & Barry's store at 408 Fulton St. According to the New York Post, the space includes the basement and ground, second and third floors of the former Woolworth Building.*


The Pardon Me For Asking blog helps put this all into a historical perspective. PMFA got ahold of a New York Times article from 1947 that describes how new zoning would "bar all except high class retailers" from Downtown's Fulton Street, turning it into something similar to Manhattan's Fifth Avenue.

In its heyday, the street was a "department store Mecca," home to A&S, Loesers and Namms, and other great retailers.

Will the glory days return to Fulton?


*The Woolworth's on Fulton Street opened sometime around 1900. According to the book "Remembering Woolworth's," by Karen Plunkett-Powell, the grand opening crowd was so large police had to be called in. "150 pretty girls" were on hand to tend to the shoppers. (Mr. Woolworth himself lived in a mansion in Bedford Stuyvesant.)

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

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