The Williamsburg gentrification machine has now reached that critical point where the neighborhood is no longer affordable to those who made it desirable. We have seen this before, in SoHo, The East Village, The Meatpacking District, NoLita and The Lower East Side to name a few neighborhoods, and we will see it again. The latest casualty is stalwart Williamsburg fixture Beacon's Closet, the popular retailer that has provided many a bohemian customer with gently priced used clothing, along with a place to pick up extra cash for their own discarded duds. Like many former or aspiring Williamsburg residents, the store will be decamping to Greenpoint after an untenable rent hike at its longtime North 11th Street home. Beacon's closet founder Carrie Peterson tells Crain's, "It seems like a lot of landlords are assigning arbitrary pricing to their spaces and just waiting to see what big fish or national chain will come and take the bait." In the past decade, rents in the soon-to-be-former hipster nucleus have increased five to six-fold, making it increasingly less hospitable to the kinds of funky establishments that made Williamsburg interesting in the first place. Children's consignment shop Flying Squirrel and Academy Records Annex will also be following Peterson to Greenpoint, which can only mean that in 10 years, we will be telling you how greedy landlords are forcing retailers out of gentrifying Greenpoint. Look for the relocated Beacon's Closet to re-open in a 7,500-square-foot space at 74 Guernsey Street between Nassau and Norman Avenues in the next couple of months.
Soaring Billyburg rents force out another retailer By Adrianne Pasquarelli (Crain's)