Archive for the tag 'commercial real estate'

Photo by Erica Sherman

It has been a rumor for as long as I’ve been alive that El Greco, the Sheepshead Bay staple, is for sale, sold, closing, moving, evaporating, burning, building, growing, shrinking and whatever else. Well, for once, one of those is actually true. El Greco, recently named one of the city’s best diners by Gothamist, has put the land it sits on up for sale.

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A rendering of Manhattan Beach’s Subway Cafe interior.

Manhattan Beach will be the site of the borough’s first publicly-accessible Subway Cafe, a new upscale concept that blends together a sandwich shop and a coffee bar.

Subway’s local franchisee signed a lease for 1613 Oriental Boulevard, the former site of Quick Break Deli just outside the gates of Kingsborough Community College (2001 Oriental Boulevard).

A rendering of Manhattan Beach’s Subway Cafe interior.

The 2,000-square-foot Subway Cafe will feature cozy couches placed before a decorative fireplace, free wi-fi, and a new line of espresso beverages and baked goods. There may also be outdoor seating.

“The cafe concept looks better than Starbucks, especially the way it will look in Manhattan Beach,” boasted Daryl Meyers, Brooklyn development agent for Subway. “It’s not like a Starbucks, but it’s similar in what it offers – cappuccino, latte. It’s actually Starbucks-branded coffee; it’s Seattle’s Best, which is owned by Starbucks.”

Subway began testing out the cafe concept in 2008, and slowly expanded to just 15 locations nationwide by 2011. The Manhattan Beach location will be the third publicly-accessible one in New York City, with one in Queens and another in Midtown Manhattan. There’s another location in Brooklyn that opened up around Labor Day weekend, but it’s on the Long Island University campus and only accessible to students and faculty, Meyers said.

All of those locations, though, will pale next to the size and investment Meyers’ team and the franchisee are putting into the Manhattan Beach location, though.

“This one is going to be much better,” Meyers said. “[In addition to the traditional Subway offerings,] we’re going to have dedicated staff for just the cafe, and the owner is dedicated to doing it properly … It has updated decor. Really, pretty nice.”

The 10-year lease for the space was brokered by Arsen Atbashyan, the CEO of Commercial Acquisitions Realty Services, and includes two five-year options. The franchise sought the space for the cafe because the proximity to the school, the beach and nursing home provides a strong customer base for a cafe atmosphere, Meyers said.

“It’s right across the street from Kingsborough Community College; there’s a high school right there. There’s a nursing home and the people in the healthcare industry tend to be some of our best customers. And it’s right on Manhattan Beach, so all summer long, all those beach customers,” Meyers said.

Subway Cafe is tentatively slated to open February 22.

Clarification (3:25 p.m.): Atbashyan adds that agent Shlomi Albagdadi also helped put together the deal.

Community Board 15 helped clear the way for a new storage facility on Knapp Street, voting in support of a waiver to existing zoning restrictions at their meeting last Tuesday despite objections from community groups.

The proposed location. Click to enlarge. (Source: Google Maps)

Metro Storage NY came before the Board in a process to repeal a “restrictive declaration” on the property at 2713-2735 Knapp Street, a wedge of land that juts into Plumb Beach Channel at Voorhies Avenue. The 28-year-old declaration prohibits any use other than a retail and marina development, a clause that has caused the land to stay desolate since the original plans fell through years ago.

“It’s derelict. What do I see here? I see some trucks, I see some cars,” said Metro Storage’s attorney, Howard Goldman, before the Board.

Goldman said the restrictive declaration and the lot’s proximity to the Coney Island Wastewater Treatment Plant means that few plans can get through the process to make use of the property. In 1996, an application was submitted for a two-story retail development was squashed, and, in 2005, a plan for a residential development was opposed by the Department of Environmental Protection.

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After 38 years in the same location, Abe’s Frame Shoppe is leaving its 2606 East 16th Street location for new digs.

Erica Sherman spotted the hand-written note on the sign the other day and snapped the above photo. The note said the business has moved and offers up a telephone number but not an address.

We called the number to find out the new address, but were greeted by an answering machine informing us that all work is temporarily being done in a new location that’s not open to the public, and that they’re looking for a new storefront from which to serve customers. They’re keeping the (718) 648-9090 number.

The building itself, on the corner of Avenue Z, is now entirely vacant. It used to house the Sheepshead Bay Gourmet Market, Learning Wheel and others, but, one by one, each business vanished. The landlord, Waldorf Realty Co., is renovating the property, and told us back in 2010 that they were not renewing some of the business’ leases so that they could market the property as one large space.

The owners of Chateau De Alik (1223 Avenue U) are getting fishy with a new project: Chateau Lagoon, a new seafood restaurant and market heading to Coney Island Avenue.

But don’t think for a second it’s going to be much like their current French-infused location.

“It’s a different type of restaurant. It’s a different theme,” said Joseph Shafie, one of the partners. “There’s going to be seafood, slash fish market, slash this, slash that. Everything has to do with seafood only.”

In addition to a seafood restaurant and fish market, there’ll be a large sushi bar. The market will also sell fish smoked in-house.

How will they fit it all? Well, they’re taking the huge space at 2570 Coney Island Avenue formerly occupied by R & S Strauss Discount Auto that closed when the national chain went bankrupt in June. The space is 5,000 square feet, and the restaurant owners signed a 10-year lease, according to Arsen Atbashyan, the CEO of Commercial Acquisitions Realty Services, who brokered the deal.

“We started marketing it for retail use and, considering it was an auto part store, we offered it to Pep Boys. But they passed on it because it was too small and no parking,” Atbashyan said. “And then we had this restaurant looking for space on Coney Island Avenue and it just seemed like a perfect match.”

Pep Boys’ loss is our gain – but we’ll have to wait. Chateau Lagoon won’t be open until late spring at the earliest, Shafie said.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Macerich, the mega-sized shopping center real estate company, has just dropped a whopping $751 million dollars in purchasing the Mill Basin based Kings Plaza Mall (5100 Kings Plaza), according a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Compared to some of the more ultra modern and glitzy shopping centers that are currently in vogue across the nation, Kings Plaza falls short, however the prime location and high foot traffic made it an appealing investment.

Because of the difficulty in developing new real estate in a dense city like New York, the threat of competition from new malls is practically nil.

“They’re both in urban or semiurban environments where it would be very difficult to replicate them,” Dan Fasulo, managing director of real estate research company Real Capital Analytics, told the Wall Street Journal. “That creates tremendous scarcity value.”

Kings Plaza also generates $650 per square foot in sales annually, compared to the $370 industry average, a result of New York’s dense population. Even still, Macerich still plans to replace stores with lower revenue streams with higher-end outfits, however no details were given.

In addition to the $751 million spent on Kings Plaza, the Macerich Company also spent $500 million on the Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, bringing Macerich’s investment total in the area to a staggering $1.25 billion dollars. Both units were owned by Vornado Realty Trust, who intends to leave the mall business altogether.

Photo by Brian Hoo

Sandwiched in between Chinese take-out place New Win Way and the Kiev Bakery, a defunct Coney Island Avenue furniture store has given way to a brand new supermarket, Oasis Mega Market.

The defunct furniture store that has made way for Oasis Mega Market. Source: Google Maps. Click to enlarge

Located at 2828 Coney Island Avenue between Z and Kathleen Court, Oasis appears to still be under construction.

Our tipster and roving photographer, Brian Hoo, speculates that it might be a Middle Eastern market, while the store’s sign indicates that Oasis will be a purveyor of fruits, vegetables, breads, cheeses, meats, dairy… and kebabs.

Hoo also tells us that, around 10 years ago, before the furniture store occupied the space, another small supermarket operated in that space.

The long-shuttered Off Track Betting storefronts at 2901 Avenue U will soon have a new tenant: discount savings store Telco.

That should be good news to those who miss Nostrand Avenue’s Dee & Dee, as the companies follow similar models, selling low-cost clothing, housewares and assorted knick knackery.

The opening will mark Telco’s fifth Brooklyn location, and tenth store overall. According to their website, Telco was established in Bensonhurst in 1972, and we at Sheepshead Bites are happy to welcome the latest location of a growing Brooklyn-born chain.

Thanks to John Hampton for the photo, and to all the other readers who tipped us off to this!

Rendering of the proposed site.

The YDE School of 49 Avenue T in Gravesend is picking up and moving to 2533 Coney Island Avenue in Sheepshead Bay.

In a report by Commercial Observer, YDE, a private Jewish school, has leased out a plot of land in a space previously occupied by a Ford Dealership and repair shop for the past 40 years.

The location features a 25,000 square foot one story building and a 25,000 square foot parking lot. The rarity of a deal involving so much space and potential was noted by the deal’s broker,

It is unusual for a 50,000-square-foot plot with tremendous air rights and development possibility to come available in Brooklyn like this,” said Zach Mishaan, a senior managing director at WinickRealtyGroup and broker on the transaction, in a prepared statement. “They have unlimited development rights that they can enjoy over the entire term of the lease and the site will offer them tremendous growth potential for years to come.”

YDE plans to open the school in 2013, starting it off as a high school, but eventually expanding it to all grades. They hold a 30-year lease on the property.

Photo by Neil Friedman

Aldi Food Market, slated to replace the defunct Pathmark at 3785 Nostrand Avenue next October, will be only half the size of its predecessor, but local pols say that it will still fulfill their promise of bringing in a notable anchor tenant to revitalize the commercial corridor, restore shoppers’ options and revive jobs in the community.

Sheepshead Bites has learned that the former Pathmark location, which occupied 35,000 square feet, is being subdivided into two storefronts, with Aldi filling 18,000 square feet of the property. The second tenant has not yet been signed. Both will have Nostrand Avenue storefronts (as opposed to Pathmark, which had its entrance on the south side of the building), and rooftop parking will remain at the location.

Find out more details about Aldi’s move to the neighborhood, and what local leaders say in response to its smaller size.

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