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National Retailers Discover a Brooklyn Mall

Posted on by Ingram Hebron

The Fulton Street Mall in Downtown Brooklyn has been changing rapidly in recent years, as national retail chains flock to the mall, a shopping strip that once housed local sneaker stores and jewelry repair shops.

The latest retailer to sign a lease is the furniture chain Raymour & Flanigan, which will occupy 28,000 square feet on the second floor at 490 Fulton Street. The store is scheduled to open in February. The discount department store chain Century 21 and H&M and T. J. Maxx also plan to open stores. Other national chains, including Gap, Áeropostale and Express, have opened stores along the mostly pedestrian mall, which stretches 17 blocks from Boerum Place to Flatbush Avenue.

“This will be the largest furniture store in Downtown Brooklyn,” said Scott Milnamow, a senior vice president of real estate development at Raymour & Flanigan. “We looked at a number of different neighborhoods, but we felt like the other national retailers are going to Fulton Street, and we wanted to be a part of that tenant mix.”

Other companies that are considering leasing property on Fulton Street Mall include Armani Exchange, Victoria’s Secret and Nordstrom Rack, brokers who have shown them spaces said.

“I’ve been doing deals on this street for 20 years, and only recently are we starting to see a real shift toward national retailers,” said Barry Fishbach, an executive vice president at RKF.

Spurring the change on Fulton Street is a growing student population, thousands of new residential units, millions of dollars in infrastructure spending by the city and several new hotels. The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership says Downtown Brooklyn houses 11 colleges, and hosts 100,000 office workers and 150,000 shoppers daily. In the last six years, 5,200 apartments have been built and four new hotels have opened with a total of more than 1,000 rooms.

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