Monday, July 03, 2006

Brooklyn Shopping Fever

atlanticterminal

By now, we know the drill: A major new retailer opens its doors in Brooklyn and--whether its Target in the Atlantic Terminal or Lowe's in Gowanus or Fairway in Red Hook--a significant part of the population acts as though it is the Second Coming.

Gowanus Lounge has seen the Brooklyn New Store Zombie Look before--glazed eyes, disbelief, somewhat slack jaw and a redness that indicates the possible onset of tears. We have witnessed it, not in the United States, but in the old West Berlin, when we walked the streets on the day the Wall came down and watched East Berliners break down and cry at the site of western grocery stores.

The Brooklyn Papers reports that the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce's annual economic study finds that a lot of us are still shopping in Manhattan because the 25 million square feet of built retail space is not enough. (Give it another 5-10 years, we think.)

Target’s Downtown Brooklyn location, for instance, is one of the chain’s busiest stores anywhere in the country. (The Brooklyn Paper notes they're opening another branch near Brooklyn College next fall.)

Among the other noteworthy Bklyn Chamber survey findings:

  • Brooklyn lost another 7.6 percent of its manufacturing jobs last year.
  • An amazing 41 percent of Brooklyn workers work for the public sector.
  • Wages went up 7.8 percent last year and unemployment stood at 5 percent, down from 10.4 percent 10 years ago.

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