Takeaway: Flatbush Flyby


If you’re looking for a restaurant, laundromat or even space for a storefront along Flatbush Avenue, there’s a new map that breaks down the 1,095 retail vacancies and occupancies along the 9.8-mile stretch that spans Brooklyn.

All the way from the Manhattan Bridge in Downtown Brooklyn to the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge on Jamaica Bay, CPEX Real Estate spent the summer documenting the retail scene on Flatbush Avenue and provided Commercial Observer with a glimpse of the market.

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The map, covering about 80 blocks of retail-heavy Brooklyn, is the work of CPEX’s summer mentees. Timothy King, CPEX’s managing partner, said the aspiring real estate brokers walked up and down the street, from bridge to bridge, categorizing the type of each retail location and spent six weeks breaking the spots down into several groups: food (delis, groceries and fast food), restaurants, apparel, salons, churches, laundromats, health services, and professional services, as well as vacancies and those that couldn’t be categorized.  

“From the best of my knowledge [this is the first time anyone] has taken the trouble [to track this information],” Mr. King said. “We spend so much time in our industry talking about statistics. I think in a lot of cases, our data is imprecise.”

Starting at the northern end of Flatbush Avenue and stretching from the Manhattan Bridge to Prospect Park, the human stomach reigns supreme with food-related retailers dominating more than one-fifth of the corridor (in total, grocery stores make up 11 percent of the retail market, while restaurants account for 10.6 percent). Nineteen of 103 retail locations along the thoroughfare were restaurants (there were 64 locations marked “other”). Health services and salons follow that up with seven locations each, followed by five delis, groceries and take-out joints.

Food is still dominant when you get south of Prospect Park—running from Crown Heights to Flatbush and Ditmas Park—accounting for roughly one-fifth of the 602 retail spaces in the heart of Flatbush Avenue, followed by apparel retailers, of which there are 80 locations, and then restaurants with 69 spots.

The last leg of Flatbush Avenue runs through such neighborhoods as Flatlands, East Midwood and Marine Park—stopping just north of the Kings Plaza Shopping Center. Vacancies are the dominant category in that range, making up 39 of the 352 locations in that area. (Vacancies account for 9.3 percent of the total retail along Flatbush Avenue.)

“There were more vacancies than I would have thought [along Flatbush Avenue],” Mr. King said. However, in the Downtown Brooklyn/Boerum Hill/Prospect Heights stretch the study found only four vacancies between Willoughby Street and Prospect Place.