Gimme Gimme: Brooklyn’s first Sephora is handing out freebies for Nov. 1 opening

Eye On Real Estate

October 30, 2013 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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It will be like trick or treat – for grownups.

Folks who go knocking at the door of the new Sephora on Court and Joralemon Streets Friday will get morning-after-Halloween goodies – gift cards worth up to $1,000.

The Brooklyn Municipal Building ‘s 7,000-square-foot cosmetics emporium will start its Nov. 1 grand opening at 8 a.m. so commuters and workers at nearby courthouses and Court Street office towers can join in.

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The first 100 people to show up at 210 Joralemon St. will get the gift cards – but teens shouldn’t cut school for the event because recipients must be over the age of 16. The card giveaway will be repeated on Saturday, Nov. 2.  

Real estate brokers expect Sephora’s debut will boost the fortunes of the Court Street retail corridor.

“Between Montague Street and Atlantic Avenue, it’s a little gritty,” Hymie Dweck, associate director at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. “Having Sephora changes thing up.”

The Sephora store – which will be Brooklyn’s first – will attract Brooklyn Heights residents to Court Street to shop, and encourage Cobble Hill residents to cross Atlantic Avenue, he said.

The upscale makeup seller is the first tenant to open its doors in the 53,000-square-foot commercial condominium that Albert Laboz’s United American Land has carved out of the Municipal Building. To emphasize its Brooklyn-ness, Sephora will display original artwork from borough artists including Mickalene Thomas and Keegan McHargue.

Demand for Court Street storefronts will intensify once United American Land’s project is fully tenanted, Dweck predicted. There’s been word of only one other tenant – a 5,000-square-foot yoga and pilates studio called YogaWorks – taking space in the historic Borough Hall Skyscraper District building.

Already, numerous prospective tenants – mostly food and restaurant businesses – have looked at a ground-and-second-floor space that Dweck is marketing at 97 Court St., which a florist now occupies. Asking rent for the 3,000-square-foot site is $25,000 per month, or $100 per square foot per year.

Who knows? Maybe Sephora’s arrival can even make upstairs commercial spaces seem sexier – like the second-third-and-fourth floor vacancy at 52 Court Street that Curves, the gym, vacated last spring. Massey Knakal Realty Services was handling the leasing assignment for the 2,700-square-foot space – but no longer has the listing.

Chris Calfa, who owns Court Order, the deli in the building, as well as Lassen & Hennigs, is fielding calls about the upstairs vacancy. “It’s a tough spot,” he said. “We’re not pushing too hard. After Sephora opens, we’ll see.”

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