Joe Chan, Downtown Brooklyn Shopaholic

Where do you shop?

Depends on for what.

Where did you buy your tie?

Actually, everything I’m wearing I bought in East Williamsburg.

Really? What store?

It’s not a store. It’s Martin Greenfield. You know Martin Greenfield?


You’ve got to write a story about Martin Greenfield.

Who is Martin Greenfield?

He’s a tailor and a clothier based in East Williamsburg.

Do you make it a point to shop in Brooklyn?

Well, I do as much as I can. Except for my shoes, everything was bought in Brooklyn.

Have any retailers in particular expressed very strong interest?

[Despite] being surrounded by some of the most exciting residential neighborhoods in the city, downtown Brooklyn does not have a Crate and Barrel, or a Pottery Barn, or a Pier 1, or a CB2. And I think that’s certainly one industry [home furnishings] where you can expect to see some movement.

Is Nordstrom interested in coming to Brooklyn? I know Marty Markowitz really wants it to.

Um, Nordstrom is definitely someone that could benefit from a downtown Brooklyn location.

I wonder if it’s maybe a little too high-end for downtown Brooklyn.

We have a Morton’s Steakhouse coming to Adams Street.

So, where are all of these stores going to go?

A significant chunk of them are going to go into the City Point project, which is on the old Albee Square Mall site. But, in every residential building that you see being built here, the base is retail.

What do you see the Fulton Mall looking like in five years?

I see a few things. First the physical transformation of the Fulton Mall … There’s a streetscape improvement project that’s going to result in basically taking out all of the out-of-scale, 1982-vernacular stuff that’s there now, like the bus shelters that look like sliced mushrooms.

That look like sliced mushrooms?

They look like a cross-section of a sliced mushroom.

Will people who come to Fulton Mall still be able to shop there or will it cater more to the brownstone communities?

The goal here is not to remake Fulton Mall into Madison Avenue. That’s not what we want to do, nor is it achievable, even if we wanted to do it. The goal here is to create a healthy and diverse retail strip that offers a lot of different products and goods across a pretty diverse set of price points.

Joe Chan, Downtown Brooklyn Shopaholic