DeKalb Market and City Point

DeKalb Market gets the boot to make room for City Point mega-development

The DeKalb Market must move to make room for the City Point project, which may one day look something like this.
The Brooklyn Paper
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Brooklyn’s shipping container bazaar must move to make way a long-planned skyscraper — months before the leases of many of its artisans and eateries expire.

Downtown developers say DeKalb Market, a collection of more than 30 food, clothing, and gift boutiques working out of freight containers on a Willoughby Street lot, must vacate the property by October so the long-stalled City Point mega-development can finally break ground.

Merchants always knew they would eventually get booted from the space to make room for the planned housing and retail complex, which is replacing the Albee Square Mall and could one day boast Brooklyn’s tallest building.

But few expected that would happen before their leases run up at the end of December.

“It’s been a roller-coaster,” said Allison Robicelli, who co-owns Robicelli’s, a cupcake and brownie shop that opened with the market last summer. “We felt like we were going to get more notice to plan for the future.”

Urban Space, the group that operates the shipping container shopping center, sent a letter to merchants informing them they will get the boot earlier this week and promised to move them to a nearby location. It is unclear where that will be.

Market organizers did not return calls for comment, but last month a spokeswoman for the trendy souk said they had been expecting to receive a notice of eviction.

The builders behind the City Point project — which received $20 million in bonds from the federal stimulus package — said the market must move because they recently forged an agreement with the department store Century 21 to open a shop in their development.

“[The decision] was really driven by the commitment of Century 21 and the housing developers to the site,” said project spokesman Tom Montvel-Cohen, whose company Washington Square Partners is developing the site along with Acadia Realty Trust. “DeKalb Market was an interim use of the area, but it’s been a great thing to bring people Downtown and attract them to the area.”

So great in fact that some Brooklynites are lamenting the pending closure of the market, which they said was just hitting its stride with the addition of new vendors, more events, and a license to sell beer and wine.

“This place is just coming alive and turning into a destination,” said Julie Marlowe, who works at an industrial design firm nearby. “These are unique small businesses that I’d much rather support — I’m not sure what a big retail mall will be to the neighborho­od.”

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow him at reporter Eli Rosenberg at or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow him at
Updated 1:15 pm, June 22, 2012
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Reasonable discourse

adamben from bedstuy says:
well, i'm sure that they can find some space at fulton mall. get to work!!!
June 22, 2012, 10:33 am
Bay Ridger from Bay Ridge says:
So what's the big deal. Move the containers.
June 22, 2012, 10:37 am
Moving on up from Fort Greene says:
Move to Sunset Park! Plenty of space and close to the express trains at 36th Street.
June 22, 2012, 5:05 pm
Mom from Clinton Hill says:
Gawd no. Stop the madness!
June 22, 2012, 6:37 pm
John from Ditmas Park says:
How about moving to northern Coney Island Avenue?
June 23, 2012, 12:56 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
There are several areas in Red Hook that are about the same size as the DeKalb lot. The neighborhood has the right vibe, too. There are also some lots in the Gowanus area that fit that description as well. The market would fit right in in either place.
June 24, 2012, 10:25 am
Stop the maddness, Who needs more malls in brooklyn ? Who needs more $million shoe box sized apartments in brooklyn ny? Broolyn used to be a real place, now its becoming a fancy expensive millioner row for the rich and famous, the common man is being booted out and thrown to the dogs
June 24, 2012, 6:41 pm
Crooklyn from brooklyn says:
So many spaces in Bushwick and Bedsty
June 25, 2012, 10:11 am
Dave from Bushwick says:
Move to Bushwick
June 26, 2012, 11:16 am
Marc from Fort Greene says:
What a sad outcome for our area, replacing something funky and local with another derivative discounter.
June 28, 2012, 2:34 pm

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