Cobble Hill

Scaffolding made Atlantic Avenue storefront a money pit

September 3, 2014 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
That's 160 Atlantic Avenue, with the sidewalk shed — which kept would-be customers from finding Brooklyn Heights Pharmacy, the owner of the now-departed drugstore told us.

Eye On Real Estate

A prime Atlantic Avenue retail site in prosperous Cobble Hill should be a real gold mine. Right?

“You would think,” said disappointed shopkeeper Ahmed Hanaif — or make that departed shopkeeper.

He cleared his pharmacy out of 160 Atlantic Ave. after an eight-month stay in LICH-Land (AKA Cobble Hill) and moved the business to Steinway Street in Astoria, into an existing drug store he owns there.

“The scaffolding killed it for us,” Hanaif said of Brooklyn Heights Pharmacy, which is what his business was called on Atlantic Avenue. “No one could tell we were here.”

Shop windows in the distinctive building on the corner of Clinton Street are obscured by a sidewalk shed. When Hanaif arrived, he was told it would be coming down in two months. That didn’t happen.

He spent $10,000 on marketing, unsuccessfully trying to get residents’ attention by giving away beach balls to kids, offering free flu shots, printing out flyers about the shop. That’s on top of $68,000 he poured into renovation.

“We lost too much money,” he said.

Rent was $6,200 per month for the 950-square-foot storefront, he said. That works out to $78 per square foot per year.

The property is a mixed-use residential and retail building. BPC Management is its filing rep, city Buildings Department records indicate.

The stretch of Atlantic Avenue that serves as one of Cobble Hill’s boundaries has LICH’s parking garage and main hospital located on it. Further up the avenue, interesting tenants include The Long Island Bar & Restaurant, which re-opened last year after sitting dark for a long time, plus big-name retailers Barneys and Urban Outfitters.

Also on this retail corridor, 136 Atlantic Ave., the building where popular bar Last Exit closed last spring, is for sale. The asking price for the brick row house, which has three “free-market apartments,” all with three bedrooms, is $4.2 million, according to an online listing by Lewis Friedman of Coldwell Banker Bellmarc.

The seller, 351 East 18th Street Realty Corp., has John McGillion as president, city Finance Department records indicate. This entity bought the building for $1,941,000 in 2006 from Charles Staiano and Gerard Scotto, the records show.