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Michaels craft store opening on Atlantic Avenue

Out of frame: Boerum Hill residents mystified by Michaels mini-mall

The Brooklyn Paper
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A slice of suburbia is coming to Boerum Hill.

Craft giant Michaels will open a two-story store in a new mini-mall at Atlantic Avenue and Boerum Place next year, and locals say they’re baffled — if not bothered — the strip-mall staple is seeking a foothold in their little neighborhood.

“I wonder if they did some focus group testing in the area to find out if there’s a market,” said Vicky Vossen, who has lived in Boerum Hill for 30 years and doesn’t think of the area as particularly crafty. “I’m frankly surprised that there’s a market if they did. Still, I’ll go in and see what goes on.”

Michaels will open alongside an outlet of gym chain Blink Fitness in the still-under-construction Atlantic Galleria — which was originally slated to house an outlet of Pier 1 Imports — which will open around March next year, according to a spokesperson for developer Renaissance Realty Group.

It will be an odd juxtaposition on a street better known for Middle Eastern grocery stores, antique shops, and — more recently — small fashion boutiques, residents say.

“It seems pretty random to me,” said Hannah Hens-Piazza, adding that she prefers to shop at local stores.

Big chains are still few and far between in the small Brownstone nabe — though there is a Paper Source around the corner and a PetSmart a block away — but are proliferating in neighboring Downtown and Brooklyn Heights, so some denizens say the arrival of businesses like Michaels is not a shock.

“I’m not surprised,” said Carly Wertheim, who has lived in Boerum Hill for one year. “There have been so many large chain stores opening up in the neighborhood recently.”

And while adults may turn up their noses, one local educator says the school-project-supply emporium will be a welcome addition amongst the neighborhood’s younger citizens.

“My kids love it, so we’re happy” said Johanna Aeschliman, who is head of the nearby Brooklyn Heights Montessori School on Court Street.

Michaels did not return requests for comment.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511.

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Reasonable discourse

Mike from Williamsburg says:
You have to wonder if this woman who has lived in Boerum Hill for 30 years has ever been to Atlantic Avenue in that time. THERE IS A TARGET DOWN THE STREET!
Nov. 16, 2015, 7:24 am
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
What a waste of space. Could have built higher and created real genuine affordable housing.
Nov. 16, 2015, 10:20 am
BrooklynGersh from The WT says:
Pardon my French, but the reason we're stuck with this two-story fugliness is because there would have been HOWLS of anger if a developer proposed what really should have been built on the site: a 30-story, 75% market, 25% affordable tower with ground floor retail.

Remember how crazy everyone got because Walentas' four-story building had an elevator shaft that rose above 50 feet.

This is Brooklyn. Build it big or go home.

Brooklyn Gersh
The WT
Nov. 16, 2015, 10:37 am
Me from Bay Ridge says:
Mike, Michaels is a crafts store. Their merchandise is totally different than Targets' merchandise. They sell a lot more than school supplies. I cannot imagine why the reporter described them that way.
Nov. 16, 2015, 11:37 am
origami guy says:
Suburbia? The store locator returned the following:

675 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10010
Mon-Sat: 9:00am – 10:00pm
Sun: 10:00am - 8:00pm

5106 Northern Blvd
Woodside, NY 11377-1733
Mon-Sat: 9:00am - 9:00pm
Sun: 10:00am - 8:00pm

9030 Metropolitan Ave
Rego Park, NY 11374-5328
Mon-Sat: 9:00am - 9:00pm
Sun: 10:00am - 8:00pm
Nov. 16, 2015, 12:57 pm
Tony from Park Slope says:
Hey, Gersh! Thanks for the swell job you did destroying the Brooklyn Paper! Get a real job yet?

"Build big or go home." Why are you still here?
Nov. 16, 2015, 1:01 pm
tacony says:
This article is written as if Atlantic Ave is some obscure, far-flung little street that wholly survives off local neighborhood residents walking in from home.

No, it's 4 blocks from Fulton Street, which is the most active retail strip in the borough and attracts tons of shoppers from neighborhoods further out in Brooklyn, and always has, because all the trains are within close distance. This Michaels is surely trying to attract shoppers from all over the borough. Not just Boerum Hill residents.
Nov. 16, 2015, 2:26 pm
Me from Bay Ridge says:
There's one on the Upper West Side, Columbus and 100th Street, also.
Nov. 16, 2015, 5:49 pm
Mom from Clinton Hill says:
Wish it could be 2 stories of Sahadi's...
Nov. 16, 2015, 8:28 pm
AS from Williamsburg says:
LG for the WIN. Pulitzer Prize for this girl please.
Nov. 17, 2015, 11:10 am
jjm from c. hill says:
I agree, another missed opportunity to build real affordable housing. Oh well, get ready for more shoplifting, robberies & homeless folks in the area.
Nov. 17, 2015, 12:02 pm
LF from Boerum Hill says:
jjm - "...shoplifting, robberies & homeless folks in the area"? Really? That seems like a rather excessive conclusion to draw from a craft store moving in, no?
Nov. 17, 2015, 9:25 pm
jjm from c. hill says:
@ LF, that's because I'm a racist coward afraid of my own 40lb. shadow.
Nov. 19, 2015, 12:57 pm
jjm from c. hill says:
@fake jjm, you're mimicking me & got the nerve to call me a coward, funny.
Nov. 19, 2015, 2:02 pm
jjm from c. hill says:
Stop hitting yourself.
Dec. 28, 2015, 6:13 pm
APM from Bed-Stuy says:
This 30 year resident is acting like the Michaels is being built in the middle of a quiet brownstone block. It's on a main avenue 4 blocks from Fulton St. I go to petsmart all the time and see people (seemingly from the neighborhood) walk their dogs in the store and take their children to look at the cats up for adoption. I'm pretty sure these same families would like to have a craft store like Michaels and I would also appreciate not having to go to Manhattan for my crafting supplies all the time. I can't wait forbit to open.
Jan. 2, 2016, 12:47 pm
Diane from Fort Greene says:
I think it's about time they built something besides high rise, high rent apartment buildings. I welcome Michaels because all of the sewing stores on Bridge street are long gone. Thank you very much.
Feb. 4, 2016, 6:08 pm
Nathan Noland from Clinton Hill says:
I'm thrilled it's opening. Whoever wrote this article, and many who were interviewed for it, seem to be wandering through Brooklyn, and perhaps all of NYC, with 30-year-old blindfolds on, as the city has been welcoming chains and big box stores like this for a while. Michaels is exciting to me. I like crafting, as do countless people with kids or not in the area. It's a smart move. And, as one commenter above noted, there is a Target up the street as all as a Pet Smart next door. And Best Buy...and...and... Open your eyes, everybody!! This isn't the 1990s any longer.
Feb. 6, 2016, 1:50 pm
Vero from Brownsville says:
I'm am super excited, I am always around boreum hill and around the shopping area it is way more convenient than going all the way to 53 rd st or gateway mall I'm sure plenty of people will see interest since there's a giant Barnes and noble around the corner.
Feb. 11, 2016, 2:28 am
Crafter from Crown Heights says:
I saw this today and I couldn't be more thrilled! I'm a new crafter and I love the idea. I'm sick of ordering off line, or having to go to save-a-thon, which has nothing. This is the best use of space of on Atlantic ever. It's easily acceptable, since the mall is right there. All I want to know is when is it opening?
Feb. 23, 2016, 6:08 pm
Stephie from Sunset Park says:
I'm so thrilled to see that a new Michael's craft store will be opening up so close to home. I will no longer have to travel to Staten Island, or the Gateway Mall for all of my crafting needs. This store has been long over due!!!! For all of the nay sayers out there.... I guess you've never had to run out last minute looking for crafting supplies because your child's teacher only gave them a few days notice to complete a project, and how narrow minded for the local residents who oppose this store to think it would only be servicing the immediate locals....
March 12, 2016, 8:44 am
tonya dyce from boerum hill says:
I am a local artist and am thrilled to have michaels in the neighborhood! am tired of traveling to northern blvd or Columbus ave... i hear total strangers on the 63 and 65 buses discussing that they cant wait for it to open... i believe the date is 3/25/16 but may be wrong..
March 17, 2016, 12:49 pm

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