Fort Greene needs a bookstore, a baker and the modern equivalent of a candlestick-maker: a hardware store.
That’s a central finding of the Fort Greene Retail Survey, which asked 380 people what they most wanted to see in the neighborhood — and the result was a fairly uniform frustration with the current retail options.
And not just in the upscale part of Fort Greene. The Fort Greene Association, which conducted the survey, sought comments from senior center patrons to residents of the Ingersoll and Whitman Houses.
“We were happy to see that people generally wanted very similar things [despite where they lived],” said Steve Sachs, a member of the polling committee.
Here’s a quick rundown of the results.
• In the “retail” category, 74 percent of respondents said they wanted, above all else, a bookstore — something Sachs attributes to the “artistic and eclectic feel” of the neighborhood. Fortunately for bibliophiles, Jessica Stockton Bagnulo, the recent winner of a small business award from the Brooklyn Public Library, is considering opening up a bookstore in Fort Greene.
• Fifty-four percent of respondents said they’d also like a seafood store. Clearly, there is more demand than Duncan’s Fish Market, on Myrtle Avenue between Clermont and Vanderbilt avenues, can handle.
• In the “restaurant” category, 57 percent wanted a bakery, and 46 percent said that the neighborhood needed a 24-hour diner.
• In the “services” category, a hardware store topped the list among 54 percent of those surveyed. A bank was cited by 43 percent of respondents. In an unrelated development, a Carver-Federal Savings Bank is opening on Myrtle Avenue, the second Carver (and the second bank) in the neighborhood.
• African-Americans ranked supermarkets as their first choice.
Most horrifyingly (for Fort Greene businessowners, that is) was this finding: Eighty-three percent of residents said they go to other neighborhoods — or to Manhattan! — for better retail options.
Ludlow Beckett, the owner of Yu, a Greene Avenue home furnishings shop, said he wasn’t surprised by the latter.
“A large percentage do their shopping outside the area,” said Beckett, who has owned Yu for eight years.
“Part of it is the new residents are coming from Manhattan and that is where they work or where they’re accustomed to shopping.”
That may be changing. After all, the Target at Atlantic Terminal is the chain’s busiest store in the country — and the company is adding a second Target in a new high-rise that’s under construction on nearby Flatbush Avenue Extension near DeKalb Avenue.