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Clinton Hill Adding New Retail Outlets as Neighborhood Improves for Residents

February 7, 2014
Welcome to the new Clinton Hil!

Welcome to the new Clinton Hill!

During just the past two months Clinton Hill has welcomed at least six new businesses into its apparently booming commercial district. Once known as “Murder Avenue” due to the rampant violence in the neighborhood, today Clinton Hill is brimming with new shops and the shoppers to go with them.

The recently opened retailers include a tobacconist, wine-seller and a barbecue house. They have all opened up along Myrtle Avenue within a half-mile of each other, between Carlton and Classon Avenues. Six more stores are also due to open soon.

“It’s amazing that I’m raising my family here and I’m happy to do so,” said Theo Peck, owner of the newly opened specialty food shop and deli, Peck’s. Peck first penetrated the neighborhood in 1995 when he rented an old theater basement for a few months. At the time he needed an inexpensive place as a workshop while he was building a bar on the Lower East Side. He still remembers his feeling of fear waiting for the G train at night on his way back home to Manhattan.

Now Peck has a real presence in this up and coming area, minus the scare factor.

“I walk home, and sometimes I feel like I’m in high school — I say ‘hello’ to so many people,” said the Fort Greene resident, who lives on nearby Clermont Avenue.

Improvements in the neighborhood have come at a slower pace than in some adjacent neighborhoods such as Prospect Heights and Park Slope. In those places the opening of the Barclays Center put unprecedented pressure on the area, forcing rents through the ceiling. That allowed Clinton Hill to remain relatively affordable at about $37 per square foot of retail space per month. Lower rents have allowed the neighborhood to keep its eclectic flavor with a mixture of hardware stores, nail salons, and restaurants.

Michael Blaise Backer, executive director of the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership said,

“The effort is to make the corridor meet the shopping needs of everyday residents. We’re not trying to compete with the area around the Barclays.”

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