Expert: “Mom and Pops” May Return to Montague

According to The Brooklyn Paper, Stephen Palmese, a commercial realty expert affiliated with Massey Knakel Realty Services, thinks there may be a bright future for the Montague Street commercial strip as “mom and pop” enterprises replace chains.

Brooklyn Paper: There are now nine “For rent” signs flying on Montague Street between Clinton Street and the Promenade right now — but the news may not be all bad.

Stephen Palmese, who deals in commercial spaces from Fort Greene to Brooklyn Heights, thinks the neighborhood will see locally based “mom-and-pop” shops replace the big national chain stores — a reversal of a longtime, and oft-bemoaned, trend.

The story notes that a client of Palmese’s recently signed a lease for space on Montague at $80 a square foot, down from an earlier asking price of $150. It also credits BHB for breaking the story of Armando’s possible return.

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  • nabeguy

    Nice thought, but I doubt that Massey Knakel will be leading the charge in that direction. In my dealings with them, I found them very competent but way corporate and looking for the big bucks. $80 per square foot in this economy on Montague sounds about where it should be…$150 is ridiculous.

  • Teddy

    Like with everything else, time will tell. Then again the past is often an indicator of the future.

  • David

    Remember the days when 143 was Spicy Pickle?

  • yo

    perhaps a mom and pop BAR!!??!!??

  • Patricia DeLucas

    Can anyone tell me what is located where the Hotel Bossert used to be? My grandmother worked there as a telephone operator, my grandfather was an elevator operator and my mother was the desk clerk. I have fond memories of this grand hotel and haven’t been back in the neighborhood in a long, long time.

  • Claude Scales

    Patricia: Like many a grand hotel of yore, the Bossert fell onto hard times in the latter part of the twentieth century, becoming a seedy flophouse that was poorly maintained. In the 1980s, however, it was bought by the Jehovah’s Witnesses for use as living quarters for the many members of the sect who work in its headquarters and the printing plants adjoining the Heights. The Witnesses had the exterior of the building and the lobby (the only parts visible to a non-Witness like me) restored to their former glory. A while back, the Witnesses decided to move some of their operations upstate, and put the Bossert up for sale. A deal was made to sell it to a developer who intended to convert it into housing for college students, but the collapsing economy killed that transaction. For now, the Witnesses continue to occupy it, and to keep it in tip-top condition. I think I can speak for most of my Heights neighbors in saying that we hope someone will buy it and restore it to its use as a first-class hotel, and perhaps bring back the Marine Roof night club that used to crown it.

  • Leefamsince WWII

    Hallmark nr Clinton has a sign on the doors “CLOSED” – another one gone

  • haystacker

    Four years ago when I went looking for retail space on Montague Street, brokers would not take my calls. I was told, by the one broker I did manage to speak with, that landlords were only interested in dealing with “multi-store entities,” meaning “chains.” I took my business elsewhere, and found a happy home on Clinton Street.

    Am I kind of maybe somewhat enjoying this schadenfreude moment? No, not really. Because it didn’t happen the way it does in Hollywood movies, where landlords have epiphanies and realize they’ve been underserving (and essentially ruining) the neighborhoods they’re in. No, this is simply market forces at work. The same forces, which during boom times, forced good stores out. Landlords are just looking at the numbers.

    Still, I am hopeful. Maybe, we will be rewarded for our patience, with stores, bars, restaurants, and services that suit the neighborhood and improve the quality of life for everyone.

  • creativeperson

    I hope to see more creative small shops open on Montague Street. I’m a fashion designer in the area. Maybe this is the time for creative people to make Montague Street like little Paris! I’ll check out the price soon. Thanks for the article!