Today’s news:

Big changes on Cropsey - Major new retailers coming to commercial strip

This isn’t your grandparents’ Cropsey Avenue anymore.

The commercial thoroughfare, once known mostly for its auto repair shops, is being shaped into a consumer friendly gateway to Coney Island, those with a stake in the avenue’s future say.

Near Linens ’n Things, as well as the city’s first 24-hour drive-thru location for Starbucks, now rises a $4.5 million new development that will feature four new retailers.

Construction at the site, located at 3063 Cropsey Avenue, has been ongoing, and is expected to be completed by June, according to the co-developers, Rhodes NY and Vista Realty Partners.

The 14,000-square-foot, one-story building will feature 42 parking spaces, and the asking rent is $50 a square foot.

Marc Esrig, a principal with Vista Realty Partners, said that a “very popular retailer” as well as “a high-end foodie place” have expressed interest in the space.

While Coney Island awaits its Vegas-style transformation, Esrig said he is pleased with this end of the neighborhood. “We focused on what we could do today,” he said.

Slowly, he said, the auto body shops are being converted to other types of stores, offering different amenities for nearby residents.

Rhodes NY’s Sarah Glatt said the avenue has become a “highly sought after” retail destination, which can be supported by neighborhood demographics.

She said there are over 500,000 people within a three mile radius of the site, and the average yearly income within the same area is $55,000.

The area, because of its proximity to Coney Island Creek, had historically seen a variety of manufacturing uses.

These days though, Esrig said, it’s the Starbucks that is bustling with activity

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