Brooklyn College building new school of business

Brooklyn College building new school of business
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Brooklyn College is planning to raze a produce and meat market to make way for new classrooms as part of the school’s latest expansion.

The college bought the property on Nostrand Avenue between Avenues I and H, directly across the street from the Flatbush Junction Target parking garage, for $5.85 million in February and plans to build a new home for its popular school of business — at the expense of the Meat Barn Market and Western Produce, two popular markets under the same ownership.

Neighbors said they would miss the two stores, where many shop for their meat and potatoes.

“To take it away would destroy part of the community,” said Patrice Richards-Skeete, who was shopping there for fruit and vegetables last Wednesday night. “This place has been here for a long time; we’ll be sad to see it go.”

It’s the largest produce store in the vicinity, shoppers said.

“There are some places up on Glenwood Road, but they aren’t as big as here and they don’t have the variety,” said Richards-Skeete.

In fact, the nearest grocery store is a Pioneer Supermarket on Avenue H between E. 34th Street and New York Avenue — three blocks away.

But school officials say the expansion is important.

There are approximately 17,000 students enrolled at the school, a slight uptick from last fall, but majors within the newly-created School of Business make up 18 percent of the student body, and only 1.5 percent of the campus is dedicated to it, said college spokesman Jeremy Thompson.

“The current space is limited. We have a real need for space for that school,” Thompson said.

The lot would not need to be rezoned for the school to build, according to the city, and Thompson said that the college is considering ground-floor retail at the site.

“There is potential for a mixed-used building,” he said.

The school said it signed an 18-month lease with the current tenant when it bought the property.

Efforts to reach the store’s owner were unsuccessful.

Brooklyn College’s last major development was in 2009 with the building of the West Quad Center, which houses its enrollment offices and student center, and construction crews are breaking ground this winter on a brand new performing arts center on campus.

This is the first year that the school has an official school of business after consolidating its 32 departments into five separate schools — each with its own dean — as part of a cost-saving program.

The development is the latest in a string of big moves for the Junction area.

Developer Lester Petracca built the country’s largest Target store there as part of Triangle Junction, which includes an Appleby’s among its big name tenants.