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DoBro getting $10M influx of cash

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$10M check for Downtown Brooklyn

We did it! We won! Apparently.

From the BKReader:

Downtown Brooklyn was awarded $10 million grant as part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI), which aims to transform downtown neighborhoods into vibrant communities where New Yorkers want to live and work.

What is this $10M going to do? Two things, according to the article:

  • Connect cultural hubs to surrounding neighborhoods
  • Further expand job and economic opportunities in the region

Honestly, I have no idea what that actually means. More buses, office buildings, and schools, I guess?

It’s too early to tell. The next step is to pull together a local planning committee (supported by private sector experts and state planners) to create a Strategic Investment Plan.

What I really want is for that money to go to getting more subway cars running during rush hour. And maybe fix the damn Clarke Street elevators already.

Keep it coming: Katz’s Deli launching subscription service

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Dekalb Market Hall in City Point

Jason Tesauro of The Middletown Press reports:

As part of its 130th anniversary, Katz’s announced on Tuesday that its first-ever subscription service will start in June…Subscription boxes (from $1,500 for a full year, or $450 for 3 months) are tied to the seasons and feature enough food for 4-6 people, plus Katz schwag. A July Griller Package is heavy on sausages, ‘kraut, mustards, and a Katz’s ballcap for backyard living. The January Warmer Package includes six quarts of three different soups (matzoh ball, split pea, chicken noodle), plus knishes and a sweatshirt. A Sweets Package in May includes babkas, rugelaches, black-and-white cookies, and a chocolate egg cream-scented candle for Mom.

Looks like Katz’s Deli is pulling out all the stops. It’s always fun to see New York institutions, like Katz’s or Juniors, change when they get someone smart, motivated, and young at the helm.

Eater had a great interview a couple of years ago with then-27-year-old Jake Dell, owner of Katz’s. Worth the read if you love $20 piles of pastrami.

Where to Work: Coworking Space Roundup in Downtown Brooklyn

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Where to Work: Coworking Space Grows in Downtown Brooklyn

Residential towers springing up all around Downtown Brooklyn seem to be making all the headlines, but the neighborhood is also home to several businesses, big and small. If you’re looking to get some work done in the area, look no further than a coworking space. We’ve rounded up what’s available, where, and whether or not you get free coffee. Read on to learn more!

Affordable Housing Lottery for One Flatbush Ave now open

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One Flatbush Ave Construction

Do you dream of living in Downtown Brooklyn, but lack the income to afford the multitude of new luxury apartments? Here’s another chance to try your luck at an affordable housing lottery!

NYC Housing Connect has recently opened the lottery for the upcoming One Flatbush Ave, which appears to be nearing the end of it’s construction. The building is at the intersection of Flatbush and Fulton, right next to the Nevins stop on the 2, 3, 4, and 5 trains.

There are a total of 37 units available, in studio to two-bedroom units. If you’re planning on applying alone, your max annual income can be up to $43,860, while a family of four can only make up to $62,580. Monthly rent ranges from $867 to $1,123 depending on household income and the unit granted.

Income chart for one flatbush

To apply, you need to visit the Housing Connect website, at http://www.nyc.gov/housingconnect. You’ll have to fill out a detailed application, including the annual incomes of each of the household members applying. But once that application is filled out once, you’ll be able to apply to different lotteries with the click of a button. The lottery for One Flatbush Ave ends July 11th at midnight.

Good luck!

 

Fancy Soap Shop Rain to Open in City Point for Your Self-Care Needs

rainafrica.jpg
Photo: Rainafrica.com

Soon you’ll be able to get all the artisanal soaps your heart desires at City Point. Rain, an au naturale soap, skincare, and fragrance company is opening up their first Brooklyn storefront in July.

The bougie self-care brand is known for incorporating sustainably harvested African botanicals into their luxury bath bombs and body scrubs. Makes sense since Rain originally began in South Africa and is recognized for their Fair Trade practices in Africa and Europe. They currently have one other NYC location in Rockefeller Center.

Lined with Gold: Street Name Change to Honor Founding Black Female Civil Rights Activist

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Ida Wells portrait

Gold Street, between Myrtle Avenue and Willoughby Street in Downtown Brooklyn, may soon be renamed to honor Ida B. Wells, an African-American investigative journalist, teacher, feminist, and an early leader in the Civil Rights Movement. Wells spent several years on Gold Street in the early 1890s (living near today’s existing Chase Bank), after her Memphis journalism offices were destroyed by white mob violence.

Born into slavery in 1862 Mississippi, Wells became freed a year later after the Civil War and resulting emancipation. Relocating to Memphis later as an adult, she would become one of the founders of the NAACP, and is most remembered for her investigative journalism, dispelling stereotypical myths around the lynchings of black men. Wells’ writing exposed her findings that the lynchings were the result of white social control and subjugation, and not the common claims of attack or sexual violence against white women.

Jacob Morris, the head of the Harlem Historical Society, conceived the idea for Gold Street to bear Wells’ name as a part of his citywide effort to honor prominent black New Yorkers by renaming streets after them. Councilman Stephen Levin introduced the application to rename the street to Community Board 2’s Transportation Committee which granted approval in April. The Executive Committee will vote to make a final decision later this year.

Map of Gold Street to be renamed

Dépanneur to Open This Summer

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Sandwich from Dépanneur
Dépanneur is known for their savory weekly special sandwiches. Photo via Instagram.com/depanneurbklyn/

There’s been some activity at 300 Livingston Street. The French general store has begun building out their newest location (part of the retail component of 33 Bond Street). Calling themselves “a better bodega,” Dépanneur will be a welcomed addition to the Downtown Brooklyn lunch circuit. They’ve gained popularity in Williamsburg (their first location) and Clinton Hill with unique weekly sandwich specials that they announce on social media.

According to Winick Realty Group, Dépanneur signed two leases for two separate ground-floor spaces so they’ll have a rather spacious general store component as well to pick up bougie local pantry goods.

So how soon can you expect to bite into a mouth-watering baguette sandwich? Well, a quick call to the shop confirmed it will be mid-summer at the earliest before their doors are open. It’s back to salads till then.

Retail rent prices are soaring in Downtown Brooklyn

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Fulton Mall mural at Albee Square

From The Raw Deal, regarding retail rents going up up up in Brooklyn:

Downtown Brooklyn’s Fulton Mall from Boerum Place to Flatbush Avenue remained the most expensive strip with average asking rent of $359 per square foot, up 10 percent from a year earlier.

I doubt anyone is surprised. With the sheer number of chain stores in our zip code, how could the rent not be that ridiculous? Not that I was expecting any mom-and-pop stores in the neighborhood.

Speaking of high rents, has anyone else noticed that nearly this entire block is full of shuttered stores?

Shuttered stores on Fulton Mall

I wonder if the owner(s) are trying to plan some big construction project for this space. Seems crazy to just keep all those retail locations empty, when they’re worth so much.

New Hotel beginning to rise at 61 Bond

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Construction at 61 Bond

There’s some intense construction happening at Schermerhorn and Bond, right across the street from the upcoming Chelsea Piers Fitness. No, it’s not more luxury apartments. This time, it’s a fancy new hotel.

I mean, look how fancy:

61 Bond Hotel Rendering

Image via Broadway CG

According to Broadway Construction Group, the hotel is going to be 13 stories (spooky) with 287 rooms and a restaurant. It’s estimated for completion in Q4 of this year, so it’s no wonder it’s going up so fast.

No word yet if it will have a pool. The existing Holiday Inn a few doors down has one, but it’s next to impossible to get access unless you’re actually staying at the hotel. We even tried to give them money. No dice.

Anyway, I guess we’re getting a new hotel for all your out-of-town guests. In case they weren’t happy with the existing selection of hotels.

More construction pictures at 61 Bond

Even more construction pictures at 61 Bond

Chelsea Piers Fitness coming to Downtown Brooklyn

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Chelsea Piers Fitness future storefront

We’re getting a fancy gym. Chelsea Piers Fitness is coming to Downtown Brooklyn. The “showroom” is now open for new members. I heard through the rumor mill that “founding member” prices are about $150 per month, and that price will go up once the gym actually opens. That puts this gym in roughly the same category as Crunch, Equinox, or (RIP) David Barton.

The place sounds pretty sweet. Aside from all the regular workout equipment, there’s a A 3-lane, 75-foot pool, two areas for CrossFit-like HIIT training, steam and sauna, and even a “co-working space,” whatever that turns out to be.

From what I hear, the original Chelsea Piers is pretty popular, and this is their first outpost of the brand. If high-end fitness is your thing, it’ll be worth checking out.

If you don’t want to pay that much, there’s always Planet Fitness around the corner.

The new gym is going to be at 265 Schermerhorn Street (between Bond and Nevins), but the “showroom” for interested members is at 442 Atlantic Avenue.