High-end shops compete for space in Williamsburg as North 6th rivals Bedford as the main drag

October 16, 2018

Toby’s Estate cafe and roastery on North 6th Street. Photo by James and Karla Murray exclusively for 6sqft.

It started with Bedford Avenue. Whether you called it Williamsburg 3.0 or the New Brooklyn or any number of monikers signifying the North Brooklyn neighborhood’s ascent to the international hall of coolest–and priciest–neighborhood fame, that avenue was its anchor. A Whole Foods and an Apple store soon followed. And, inevitably, as businesses flocked to the surrounding streets, the clear hegemony of Bedford began to become less evident even if its tourist population continued to grow. Now, the New York Post hails North Sixth Street, longtime home of anchor condo The Edge and more recently a growing host of retail chain shops, as the top contender.

Toby’s Estate cafe and roastery on North 6th Street. Photos by James and Karla Murray exclusively for 6sqft.

Ending in the Smorgasburg-hosting East River State Park and a ferry landing can’t hurt, of course. New shops making forays into the ‘Burg have landed along the street that was put on the map long ago by Bowery Ballroom-owned music venue once known as Northsix, now called Music Hall of Williamsburg, include Urban Outfitters concept store Space Ninety 8 (a pioneer on the block), Le Labo Fragrances, Rituals and Paris-based fashion boutiques Maje and Sandro. Occupying huge spaces on North 6th Street are a new Vans concept store and former online-only brand Everlane in a 11,349-square-foot space.

East River State Park. Photo via Harold Navarro on Flickr

Says Cushman & Wakefield’s Steven Soutendijk, “It’s more like 34th Street than Fifth Avenue. There is a diverse mix of tenants, food, e-commerce, fitness, restaurants, traditional high-end goods and banks.” Meaning international brands are skipping Manhattan for the Brooklyn strip and others like it–and that it’s getting more mall than cool. Williamsburg means both hipster spending and tourist dollars, as preppy powerhouse Gant, J. Crew’s younger sister Madewell and athleisure emporium Lululemon, who crowd each other on North Sixth, can attest.

The Edge, south tower. Image courtesy of CityRealty.

While retail rents around the country have been tattered by online sales, real estate is at a premium here: Asking rents on North Sixth range from $100 to $350 per foot, with an average of $225. At No. 60, a 10,000-square-foot building sold last year for $19.8 million. Asana Partners bought No. 93 for $10.12 million. Between Wythe and Kent avenues, Stu Morden and Rafe Evans of Walker & Malloy Co. are pitching a 2,600-square-foot space at 76 North Sixth for $175 per foot. The space boasts ground-floor retail with 25-foot ceilings and more room upstairs.

The dreaded April 2019 start date of a 15-month L train shutdown looms large, though. According to Jason Pruger of Newmark Knight Frank, “There has to be a discount [on rents].” On the other hand, more locals may forego Manhattan and shop locally, and visitors might be content to take the ferry to get their dose of North Brooklyn cool.

[Via NYPost]


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