Many Sheepshead Bay businesses began cleaning up as soon as the water receded. A new group is hoping to get them up and running faster in the future.
While there are plenty of groups operating in the hopes of making Sheepshead Bay’s homes and communities more resilient from future disasters, there have been none dedicated entirely to helping fortify the business industry and develop plans for faster recovery. Until now.
The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, working with a grant, is teaming up with NYU’s Wagner Capstone program to study and make recommendations to strengthen businesses in the flood zone, including all of those along Emmons Avenue and Sheepshead Bay Road. Here’s an excerpt explaining the Capstone program and their focus in this project from an e-mail blast sent by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce:
NYU Wagner Capstone is a world renowned program that brings together NYU graduate students in public administration and urban planning to address complex challenges that a client organization has brought to the table and aids them in identifying new opportunities. Capstone teams pursue each project for 1 full academic year, and produce a final presentation and report on their findings and recommendations by May.
As we all know, Sheepshead Bay did not receive the attention and aid it needed to reach a fast recovery in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, and many of Sheepshead Bay’s businesses suffered from a slow summer-season. The Brooklyn Chamber has brought this issue to our Capstone team and will be working together on the development of a guide for the assessment of Sheepshead Bay’s many assets and how this coastal community can better take advantage and promote its beautiful waterfront access.
The Chamber’s team was in Sheepshead Bay today to distribute fliers to the storefronts about the program. There will also be an open forum next Wednesday, December 11, at 9 a.m. at Maria’s Ristorante (3073 Emmons Avenue) where business owners can learn more, ask questions, and sign up to be interviewed about their challenges. Interviews will be no longer than 30 minutes, and can be done in-person or over the phone. If you’re a business owner but can’t make it to the forum and want to ensure your input makes it into the project, e-mail email@example.com.
Salon Evolution, one of the corridor’s handful of high-end salons and spas, is adding to the Sheepshead Bay Road business exodus and is set to leave the 1722 Sheepshead Bay Road storefront on January 1.
The business has announced that it is relocating way down to the other end of the waterfront, at 3075 Emmons Avenue, near the corner of Brown Street.
While the store’s management and clientele might be moving, the salon’s equipment and storefront are for sale. This listing shows that they’re asking for $100,000 for a full turn-key salon business, with all the equipment included. Rent is $9,000 a month.
That’s a lot of split ends, ain’t it?
The long-lived China Max Restaurant at 2261 Emmons Avenue served its last pu-pu platter.
The business closed up some time in the past two weeks, and a “For Lease” sign now sprawls across the storefront. The business had at first placed an “under renovation” sign up, but that renovation doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.
We don’t know why it closed, though we’ve heard rumors that a proposed rent hike led to a disagreement between landlord and tenant. Employees at Siam Orchid Thai Cuisine next door said they weren’t sure, and noted that they did not share ownership and the Thai restaurant isn’t going anywhere.
Thanks to the many, many people who contacted us about this. If the sheer number of readers who took an interest in the closure is any indication, it’s clear the restaurant will be missed.
The brand new B44 Select Bus Service, which runs between Williamsburg and Sheepshead Bay. Source: Patrick Cashin / MTA / Flickr
THE COMMUTE: This week we are taking another look at the B44 Select Bus Service (SBS). On Monday we discussed major problems thus far: confusion, not enough SBS stops, and inadequate service on New York Avenue. We discussed actions taken by some local elected officials. Yesterday we shared some rider and operator reviews gathered from an email, the media, and transit discussion groups on the internet. Today we will share a few more reviews and draw some conclusions.
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The B44 SBS debuts along Nostrand Avenue. Source: Patrick Cashin / MTA / Flickr
THE COMMUTE: Yesterday, in Part 1, we provided some media coverage from NewsChannel 12 and NY 1 showing rider frustrations with the new B44 Select Bus Service (SBS). That is not to say that everyone is unhappy about it. As I predicted, those traveling long distances who can make use of the SBS stops will save time and be pleased. You can never please everybody. The question remains: Will more riders be helped or hurt by this new service?
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Select Bus Service on the B44 route, which runs between Williamsburg and Sheepshead Bay. Source: Patrick Cashin / MTA / Flickr
THE COMMUTE: Select Bus Service (SBS) on the first route in Brooklyn, the B44, is now one week old. I have not yet had a chance to observe or ride the SBS or the B44 local, so at this time I can only offer second-hand information.
As to be expected, there was much confusion resulting from the elimination of the Limited service, which has been replaced with SBS; removal of some Limited stops, which became local stops only, and the rerouting of half of the buses from New York Avenue to Rogers Avenue. Bus riders were informed of the start date through automated announcements on the buses during the week prior to implementation. Not enough information was given to avoid confusion.
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THE COMMUTE: After two years of delay, and five years of planning, the B44 Select Bus Service (SBS) finally made its debut yesterday along Nostrand Avenue. Limited stops at Avenues L, R, S, V, W, Y and Z are no longer in effect since the Limited has been discontinued, so do not wait for one. You now either have to take the local or walk to the closest SBS stop.
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The following is from our friends at the Sheepshead Bay – Plumb Beach Civic Association:
Members of Sandy-affected communities along the East Coast paid respect to what was lost during the storm, lighting candles and wielding flashlights to “light up the shore” on the first anniversary of the flooding.
Light Up the Shore events were held in Gerritsen Beach, Sheepshead Bay and Brighton Beach, joining others in all five boroughs, New Jersey and elsewhere. Candles were lit and a moment of silence held for those who perished from the superstorm at 7:45 p.m., the time when Sandy made landfall.
About 35 neighbors attended the Sheepshead Bay event, held on Emmons Avenue and organized by Empower Sheepshead, a long-term recovery group. In Brighton Beach, at the event organized by the Shorefront Y, approximately 60 people held candles on the boardwalk.
Prior to the candle lighting, organizers and speakers remarked of the importance of coming together as a community during tragedy, and on the unity that emerged in Sandy’s wake. Prayers were said and white roses were tossed into Sheepshead Bay to commemorate those who died in the storm.
Representatives of various organizations, including Red Cross and Project Hope, attended the events and provided counseling for those still suffering.
View photos from the Sheepshead Bay and Brighton Beach events.
Contractors for the Department of Transportation were at the Ocean Avenue footbridge today, putting a layer of primer down on the 132-year-old span – the first time it’s been splashed with paint since the structure was rebuilt after Superstorm Sandy.
It’s a welcome sight. Passing that bridge frequently, the unpainted portions wore on my heart, reminding me of how, the morning after the storm, I came to find it in tatters, with railing ripped off and planks long gone. As our Erica Sherman wrote at the time:
Thrashed by a combination of violent waves during the storm’s high tide, and the terrifying howl of 90-MPH winds, which sent untethered boats crashing wildly into the bridge’s structure, passersby were shocked the next morning to see huge portions of blue wooden handrail either dangling into the water or completely washed away, one of the more high profile symbols of destruction that trounced our area.
Thankfully, an anonymous reader texted me today, alerting me to the fact that the crew was there, working on it.
By the time I stopped by this afternoon and took the above shot, the crew had gone home. But the bridge is almost completely covered in brown primer, which will (hopefully soon) receive a layer of blue paint on top.
Today being the anniversary of the storm, it seemed especially fitting. I’m looking forward to seeing the work completed.