Brooklyn Heights

CVS says yes to Montague Street

Pharmacy chain is replacing Rite Aid on prime Brooklyn Heights retail corner

August 5, 2014 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The name is still over the door, but Rite Aid is Gone Baby Gone from 168 Montague St. in Brooklyn Heights. Brooklyn Eagle photos by Lore Croghan
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Call this corner Pharmacy Central.

CVS is the new tenant at 168 Montague St., the Brooklyn Eagle has learned — a prime location on the corner of Clinton Street that Rite Aid rented for three decades.

“We plan to take possession of this site for renovations in late summer/early fall and open a new CVS/pharmacy in early 2015,” Mike DeAngelis, a spokesman for CVS Caremark, said via email on Tuesday.

A tip of the hat and a Thank You! to the real estate source who alerted the Eagle to stories that have been circulating about CVS moving in to the big Brooklyn Heights storefront where Rite Aid said Baby bye, bye, bye and closed on July 30. 

CVS top brass clearly doesn’t feel like three’s a crowd. There are already CVS stores at 156 Henry St. in Brooklyn Heights and in nearby Cobble Hill at 150 Court St.

“There is no change to our existing locations,” DeAngelis said.

Publicly held CVS Caremark, which is based in Woonsocket, R.I., is America’s largest pharmacy health care provider. It has about 200,000 employees in 45 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

The storefront where the drugstore chain is moving is big by Montague Street standards — which means it wasn’t a good fit for some types of tenants that would otherwise work well on Brooklyn Heights’ most sought-after retail corridor.

“It is a tough size, likely a bit large for a local restaurant operator and/or local clothing boutique,” said another real estate source.

There’s about 7,900 square feet on the ground floor and about 2,400 square feet in the cellar, city Finance Department records indicate.

On the plus side, for a retailer looking to move quickly, the storefront is one of just a handful on Brooklyn Heights’ Numero Uno retail corridor that is not subject to city landmarks regulations. The location lies just outside the boundaries of the Brooklyn Heights Historic District and the Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District.

Rents for Montague Street corner locations are around $125 to $135 per square foot. Mid-block locations are priced lower, as are storefronts that are several steps above or below sidewalk level, which is the case with numerous sites.

Montague Street, a magnet for workers from nearby office and court buildings and well-heeled residents, is looking forward to an added influx of upscale shoppers once the Hotel Bossert re-opens as high-end lodging next year.

Rite Aid’s lease at the now-vacant location originally dated back to 1983, according to city Finance Department records.

That was decades before 168 Montague St. was expanded and changed from an office building into a rental-apartment building whose main address is 75 Clinton St.

The space Rite Aid just left has a separate owner from the residential floors of the nine-story building.

The retail space, which is Commercial Condo Unit 1, has belonged since 2010 to an LLC whose managing member is Avery Eisenreich, Finance Department records show.

Eisenreich — who didn’t respond by deadline to a call about the property — heads a Jersey City-based nursing-home operator, Alaris Health. It was formerly known as Omni Health Systems of New Jersey.

The residential floors of Rite Aid’s former location belong to Dallas-based Invesco Real Estate.

As for Rite Aid, its Brooklyn Heights customers needn’t worry about where to fill their prescriptions.

The day after it departed 168 Montague, it opened a spiffy new replacement store two blocks away at 101 Clinton St.


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