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Cortelyou Road is growing up fast. The trendy Ditmas Park strip will get its first major retail outlet when the ubiquitous T-shirt retailer Brooklyn Industries opens a store there this week.
The DUMBO-based retailer, known for its Brooklyn-themed T-shirts, hoodie sweatshirts, and designer pants, said it chose Ditmas Park for its eighth borough location — and sixteenth over all — for one simple reason: most of its customer base lives out there.
“We found a lot of customers who purchase our stuff actually live in Ditmas Park and have been making the trek to our store in Park Slope,” said Teddy Vuong, a spokesman for the company, which opened another outpost on the Fulton Mall in July.
The store will be located at the corner of Marlborough Road in a space residents say housed an Avon outlet for decades — one of three vacant spots remaining on the bustling strip dotted with new cafes and restaurants.
Neighborhood real estate agents were gushing over the news, claiming that the arrival of a successful retail store could herald in a new era for Cortelyou Road.
“At this point we are not a shopping destination,” said Alexandra Reddish, an area real estate broker and Ditmas Park native. “This is great for young families and couples in the neighborhood. If they stay, then hopefully other retail stores will come.”
Few retail stores have taken root on Cortelyou Road, although Brooklyn ARTery, a craft gift shop, opened near Coney Island Avenue last week.
Yet the retailer’s opening, first reported by the Ditmas Park Corner blog, has been receiving mixed reviews by residents of the gentrified neighborhood who would prefer to see more community-based businesses take root on the shopping strip.
“While I would prefer to see something like Brooklyn ARTery, that highlight smaller, even more hyper-local business tha[n] Brooklyn Industries...I continue to be in favor of something other than a restaurant on Cortelyou,” wrote neighborhood resident Julie May, in the blog’s comment section.
The company, which was founded in Williamsburg in 1997, was one of the first to brand Brooklyn, along with the Brooklyn Brewery, but much of their product line is made in factories overseas in places such as China.
Still, the store, which has outposts in Portland and Chicago, as well as Manhattan, says that Brooklyn is still its home court.
“Generally, our stores do better here in Brooklyn,” said Vuong.Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow him at twitter.com/emrosenberg.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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