Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Washington Ave: Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Lease

We told you don't sleep on Washington Avenue on the edge of Prospect Heights and Crown Heights.  And now it's more ripe for the picking than ever, especially for commercial.  With Vanderbilt almost fully-saturated, Franklin Avenue blowing up quickly and filling in, Washington Avenue is like a sleeping giant in between.  Yes, some of the look is grimey, sketchy things do go on semi-openly on the street, but you're down the hill from the Brooklyn Museum, easy 2/3 train access, Manhattan skyline views, a bike lane that runs straight to Clinton Hill, in the neighborhood the NYTimes posited as an alternative to the UWS.  If Prospect Heights is the Upper West Side, then the Brooklyn Museum is like the Natural History Museum, and Washington Ave is like Columbus.  Besides long-standing dining landmarks like Tom's Restaurant and The Islands, we told ya months ago about two recent tenants that are signs of the times.

Foodie favorite Bar Corvo probably locked in a steal on their lease, did their straight-forward build-out inside, pimped-out their backyard easily:

"This is canary-in-the-coal-mine territory, culinarily speaking," says the NYTimes.  Does the Times sound more in-the-know or out-of-touch when they say, "Thirteen years ago, no one in Manhattan went to Brooklyn for dinner by choice."  How about no one in Manhattan was on Washington Avenue even 3 years ago?  Now the space two doors up the hill from Bar Corvo is building out and will inevitably create synergy.

The kimchi taco spot is doing the dang thing day-in/day-out with flavorful combinations, making the most of a small space with a sleek, simple build-out:

Now the space on that corner is building out too.  But don't despair.  Owners and brokers are hip to the activity, and there are no fewer than 10 commercial spaces for lease in this corridor of Washington Avenue between Eastern Parkway and Atlantic Avenue.  Some large, some small, some corners, some attached, some semi-attached...

In Brooklyn, "if you build it, they will come".  And there's pent-up demand for even more variety in this neighborhood.  Even just basics like soup & sandwich have a place on this street, but especially anything with a neat-o twist to it will instantly capture the attention of the local & visiting market.  Then the Times, then the Vanderbilt crowd, then... you get the picture.  Heck, by the time the stadium's here (and certainly when the residential component is complete), Washington might be a welcome commercial refuge away from how packed Vanderbilt might get.

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