BROOKLYN DAILY EAGLE – CB2 Gives Green Light For Outdoor Urban Market

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Community Board 2 on Wednesday gave its approval to the developers of City Point in Downtown Brooklyn to create an interim Urban Market at the northern end of its site.

The approval was required before it can be considered by the city’s Design Commission.

Paul Travis of Washington Square Partners, one of the developers and the overall manager of the City Point project, noted that the Department of City Planning has given its OK to the urban market and the Design Commission has given tentative approval.

The goals are to create an amenity for the community and an incubator space for Brooklyn’s small businesses and entrepreneurs, Eldon Scott of Urban Space Management, designer of the market, told CB 2 members.

“We’ll run this like a marketplace,” he said. “Each will get a small shopfront at very affordable rents.”

There will be 40 160-square-foot enclosed units with shopfronts, described as work/sell spaces. They will be set in five rows — “like miniature streets with small stores,” he said — and will include both eateries and boutique shops. The rents will be $1,200 per month with an “easy-in, easy-out type of license.

Also planned: a section for an urban farming area, a tented area for community events and performances, and an open fence so passersby can see the market.

Most of the concerns expressed by board members focused on possible guarantees that those renting spaces would then be offered space at the new building (no guarantees) to the sort of outreach being done to those small retailers forced out of Downtown Brooklyn, Fort Greene and elsewhere by residential development (extensive outreach was promised by both Scott and Travis).

Travis said that if there’s a tenant who is really successful in the Urban Market he or she will want to be in the new building.

“We and the city didn’t want the site to be empty during the construction, which could take from two to five years,” said Travis.

“There’s nothing quite like this in Brooklyn right now,” he added. “We can learn a lot from this. It will be a test.”

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