They want to make Midwood the center of the borough’s commercial universe, but can the nabe ante up?
Developers planning a pair of massive, Kings Highway-adjacent office-and-retail buildings hope to make Midwood into southern Brooklyn’s reigning commercial hot spot, but business watchers worry the once–mom-and-pop strip will buckle under the weight of new development. The Infinity Group and Nightingale Properties are redeveloping Kingswood Plaza on E. 15th Street and building a new outlet on E. 14th Street, where anchor tenant Target has already signed a 10-year lease.
The plans will raise the area’s profile, but little old Kings Highway (named so in 1704) can’t handle the influx of shoppers and office workers, one area commerce leader said.
“There are real problems involved in there,” said Malcolm Newman, president of the Kings Highway Business Improvement District. “New York City — through poor zoning and extremely poor planning — has unleashed something very, very problematic on Kings Highway. It’s going to affect every single merchant who is on that street. The new developments that are coming to the street, neither one of the Kingswood properties will have sufficient parking.”
Developers are renaming Kingswood Plaza at 1630 E. 15th Street “Kingswood Center I” and plan on tacking two more floors onto the building, making its total floor area 190,000 square feet — large enough to fill an entire neighborhood block.
The building already boasts the most office space outside Downtown and includes a multi-level underground parking garage, according to information from marketer CPEX Real Estate.
But builders plan to raze a 300-space parking garage at 1712 E. 14th Street for the brand-new Kingswood Center II, which will house Target and other retailers on the first two floors and offices on the top three levels, according to marketing materials from CPEX.
Both properties are zoned for grocery stores, entertainment and nightlife, and residential uses in addition to retail and offices, city records show. Kingswood Center I is already home to a TJ Maxx, New York Sports Club, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, ElderServe, The Jewish Guild for the Blind, and the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.
CPEX Real Estate declined to comment and The Infinity Group did not respond to requests for comment.