Whose Mall Is It Anyway: Will Brooklyn Flock to Fulton Street’s New Chain Stores?

Isn't That Why We Left Pittsburgh Behind to Begin With?

p1020775 Whose Mall Is It Anyway: Will Brooklyn Flock to Fulton Streets New Chain Stores?

Laboz's castle.

“Do we really need 10 sneaker stores and a dozen cellphone outlets?” asked Isaac Chera in a phone interview. His family owns half-a-dozen properties on the stretch and has been a fixture there for four decades. They now own retail properties citywide, but he still credits the Fulton Mall with teaching him how to do business.

“Brooklyn’s a big, big, big, big place,” Mr. Chera said. “It’s the fourth biggest city in America. Everything can’t be everything to everybody. There are segments, and that’s who we’re looking to serve.”

Borough President Marty Markowitz remembers the days when his mother used to drag him to the mall. “We used to shop at May’s while the nicer folks went to Abraham & Strauss,” he recalled from his office on Monday, overlooking Fulton Street—he boasts of being able to shout his order down to the new Shake Shack. “I never liked shopping,” Mr. Markowitz continued, “I still don’t, but at least I always knew it meant a trip to Chock Full o’Nuts or Nedick’s. They served hot dogs in little white doilies.”

The borough president has been a huge champion of the strip’s transformation, disputing charges of its Manhattanification. “Nobody wants that less than me, I campaigned against that when I ran for office,” Mr. Markowitz said. “Brooklyn is still Brooklyn, there is still plenty of room for mom and pops, but we can find space for other people, too. This is not changing Fulton Street, this is bringing it back to what it was.” But are people really traveling to Manhattan from Brooklyn to shop at the new JCPenney?

Mr. Markowitz said he would like to see some kind of commercial rent control to protect tenants rents, though he was also wary of even mentioning the topic, knowing how it is despised by the real estate industry. “Maybe some kind of mediation, so if your rent triples, you can go to someone about it,” he said. He also said that if he could have any store on the strip, it would be a Nordstrom’s, though he would also settle for a Nordstrom’s Rack.


  1. CK says:

    Good story. Two things, though: Brooklyn Fare is on Schermerhorn Street, and that store in the first photo seems to be having a never-ending going out of business sale.  

  2. Azi Graber says:

    A commercial rent-control is completely unjustified; at least with regards to residential leases a case can be made about the necessity of affordable housing. But now we need the city to protect people from bad business decisions, or a changing market? 

  3. Douche says:

    Biz Markie. Sigh.

  4. Dashmaz says:

    Now Biz Markie raps on the kids’ show Yo Gabba Gabba. Things change.
    I think it will be great for the Fulton Mall to offer a more diverse shopping experience. Nobody wants all the mom-and-pops pushed out, but there is a place for H&M and TJ Maxx, etc., too.
    P.S. Matt Chaban, discover spell-check.  Really, “figurativelyh”?

  5. This is a good thing. The Fulton mall is such a dump. How many pager stores, cheap jewelry and sneaker outlets does a shopping center need? It doesn’t cater to black or white, it caters to hoods and drug dealers.

    1. Youareanidiot says:

      You are clearly an ignorant moron. I shop on Fulon Mall and I am not a drug dealer.

  6. Jpe3318806 says:

    if you  folks really knew the man and knew the e..l that lurks

  7. Emiayo says:

    “The hard part is, black people will shop where white people shop, they don’t have a choice,” one veteran Brooklyn broker said. “It doesn’t work the other way around.”  Matt Chopin – What kind of stupid statement is that and you single it out in your article.  I’m not sure what point you as the writer of this article or the idiot you quoted is trying make.