D II, a beloved Coney Island department store, will have a permanent home on Neptune avenue when construction is complete on a new, seven-story retail building coming soon to replace the Trump Village Shopping Center in Brighton Beach.
The announcement was welcome news to residents of neighboring Trump Village, such as Helen Cooperman, who feared they would no longer have a go-to store where they could pick up basic necessities.
“It’s good news because we could use a store like that in the neighborhood, and [developers] kept saying they would put in fancy stores,” said Cooperman.
Developer Cammeby’s International plans to build a 41-story residential tower and the retail building in place of the nearly shuttered shopping plaza at the corner of Neptune Avenue and W. Fifth Street, but first National Grid must haul off enough toxic dirt to fill more than two Olympic pools to clean up pollution left behind by a former manufactured-gas plant.
Dee II owner Morris Dweck worried the construction and remediation work would hurt his business by cutting off a vital back alleyway used to transport goods to and from the store, but Cammeby’s promised to give him access. He predicted the store shouldn’t have to close for any long period during the construction process, and that the move from its current Neptune Avenue location into its new home on the third floor of the retail hub on Sheepshead Bay Road between W. Sixth and W. Eighth Streets should be smooth.
“There should be no interruption; we’ll close one store, open the next one in the next day or two. That’s the plan,” he said. “We’re hopeful that everything will work out.”
Cammeby’s International owner Rubin Schron also recently signed leases in the building for banks — Capital One and Apple Bank — that are currently doing business out of trailers nearby.
And — to the excitement of many locals — CVS Pharmacy has also signed a lease to move into Neptune/Sixth, according to Cammeby’s International. Construction on the seven-story retail and commercial building has already begun, and is expected to be completed by the fall. Once that’s done, workers will start erecting the 41-story tower, a spokesman for the developer said.
The remediation work hasn’t begun, but National Grid has started clearing the site to clean up groundwater contamination, which will begin the week of April 10, according to a spokesman from the Department of Environmental Conservation.