5th Street, and Vans opened an outpost called the General at 102 North 6th Street. And Steinberg recently brokered a deal for athletic apparel store Respect Your Universe, which will open for business at 76 North 4th Street in 2018.
“There are many businesses coming to Williamsburg,” Steinberg said. “And the traffic they are looking for is Brooklyn-to-Brooklyn.”
Even so, Steinberg said he is discussing concessions with a few retailers. He is actively negotiating a concession on behalf of a prospective tenant that would seek a rent reduction if sales decrease because of the train shutdown. Steinberg did not disclose the identity of the tenant.
Stores that focus on Brooklyn-based shoppers entertain the idea that sales could actually increase as travel to Manhattan is made more difficult, some brokers said.
Meanwhile, some Williamsburg landlords are willing to keep their retail spaces empty instead of rushing to sign on new tenants at lower rents.
Donal Flaherty of Brooklyn-based investment sales brokerage Bestreich Realty said locking in a tenant at a lower rate for a contract that would last much longer than the L train shutdown just doesn’t make sense in the long term. Landlords would rather wait until the L train opens again and seek a higher-paying tenant at that time.
“I don’t think anyone’s worried,” Flaherty said. “A lot of these guys have so much capital that two years will go by in the blink of an eye.”
Compass’s Blackburn said that the shock of the shutdown was waning, and she expects the market to pick up again soon.
“The closer we get to the shutdown,” she said, “the closer we get to the end of the shutdown.”
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