Cristin Noonan

Food and Local Business Editor


The vast construction site located at 399 Knickerbocker Ave., which spans nearly half of the block between Himrod and Stanhope avenues, is nearing its completion date, and we know the names of at least two tenants.

Since it was first reported last September that the former Shopper’s World would be replaced, the building has been under construction to be transformed into a three-story commercial property with as many as six retail spaces.

A spokesperson from Jenel Management Corporation, the management company in charge of signing leases to 399 Knickerbocker Avenue’s tenants, has confirmed for Bushwick Daily that among the future tenants are Modell’s Sporting Goods Store and Blink Fitness.

Modell’s Sporting Goods Store announced its opening at 399 Knickerbocker Ave. with “coming soon” signage.

A spokesperson from the site’s contracting company Pav-Lak told Bushwick Daily that a Rite Aid would occupy space at 399 Knickerbocker Ave. as well (though Jenel Management says that Blink and Modell’s are the only signed tenants).

Such a setup would mirror a similar big box commercial pairing over at Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenue, where another pharmacy and gym duo, CVS and Planet Fitness, were recently joined by a Starbuck’s (Flushing Avenue and Broadway also have a Planet Fitness, which is around the corner from a Walgreen’s).

Brooklyn Paper reported in April that Manhattan-based investment firm Eastern Consolidated sold three properties on that same block between Stanhope and Stockholm streets, 373-379 Knickerbocker Avenue, replacing Payless shoe store, a 99-cent emporium, and an electronics store, for a whopping $11.75 million price tag.

Salvatore Polizzi, the owner of Tony’s Pizzeria & Restaurant and member of the Knickerbocker Avenue Merchants Association expresses to Bushwick Daily his personally torn yet ultimately positive position regarding the changes.

On one hand Polizzi believes that the flashy new businesses could encourage more people to shop local, which in turn would give a boost to other longstanding commercial businesses on Knickerbocker Avenue.

Polizzi says that, having spoken about the matter with other businesses in the area, it seems that “the development of 399 Knickerbocker Avenue for commercial space is a welcome breath of fresh air for a community of merchants still struggling to attract new customers to the area and essentially define themselves in Bushwick’s rapidly changing commercial and residential landscape.”

The prickly downside is, of course, as is always the case, the rise in rent. Already, Polizzi says, those businesses have had a hard time attracting customers. There are a “limited amount of dollars currently finding its way to Knickerbocker Avenue merchants,” he explains.

For now, though the temperament is cautious, Polizzo tells Bushwick Daily that in general, these businesses are staying positive.

Stay tuned for more news about the new spot on Knickerbocker, Bushwick!

Cover image by Katarina Hybenova for Bushwick Daily.