Filene’s on Fulton! Mall gets major retailer

Filene’s on Fulton! Mall gets major retailer

Fulton Mall took another big step toward a retail renaissance this week with the announcement that Filene’s Basement and SYMS would take the spacious ground floor of the old Strawberry building.

The off-shoot of the ritzy department store — the Macy’s of Boston — announced its arrival this week, not long after Crown Acquisitions bought the vaulted storefront on Fulton Street near Albee Square for $60 million.

“It’s a five-story, mixed-use asset — and boasts a prime location on one of Brooklyn’s most-desirable shopping thoroughfares,” said Crown spokesman Jimmy Lappas, who added that the department store would open in early 2012.

Plenty of building owners are starting to put their feelers toward Fulton Mall, hoping that it will become what some developers always wanted it to be: a high-class example of urban renewal filled with swanky retailers.

And for the first time since the days of A&S and Conway, it seems to be picking up steam — notoriously trendy clothing retailers H&M and Aeropostale are moving in next door to Filene’s Basement, and workers just started constructing City Point “first-class” retail mall at the former site of Albee Square shopping center.

But Fulton Mall is not all there yet. A swath of its storefronts still hosts art displays instead of actual business, and many more stores survive on low-end, high-volume trade.

But with the arrival of Filene’s and the other newcomers, folks like Georgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, and Ed Hardy are now Brooklynites.