As one Century 21 opens another one closes, but this time there’s a silver lining–the former Bay Ridge Century 21 flagship store will be transformed into an urban retail hub.
The Brooklyn department store, located on 86th Street off 5th Avenue, shut down in December 2020 during the pandemic after the chain filed for bankruptcy, but now the space is being completely reimagined.
According to Brooklyn Paper, the project is being led by ASG Equities, the real estate company of the Gindi family, who founded the Century 21 flagship in 1961.
Aiding in the project is Council Member Justin Brannan, whose been helping the project come to life.
“The vibrancy of the 86th Street commercial corridor is crucial to our local economic ecosystem not only as a retail shopping destination but a hub of local employment,” said Brannan in a statement. “The more people shopping on 86th Street, the more economic activity we’ll see for our small businesses and restaurants along 3rd and 5th Avenues.”
A total of 150,000-square-feet will be redeveloped to include “best in class, institutional quality retail”–such as supermarkets, cosmetic stores, and clothing shops–spanning across 15 buildings on 86th and 87th Streets. More than 700 feet of retail storefronts will be repurposed during the project.
According to the Brooklyn Paper, ASG has already signed a 20,000-square-foot lease with New York-Presbyterian, which will take over the former TJ Maxx building at 502 86th Street and fill the storefronts with Class A retail. The development will also include an outdoor pedestrian walkway connecting 86th and 87th Streets.
RIPCO Real Estate has been chosen by ASG Equities to handle the leasing of the project, with Gene Spiegelman, Vice Chairperson and Principal at RIPCO, to lead the team.
“Everyone loves Century 21. This is not just an investor that bought real estate. [The Gindi family] have been there for decades, and losing the business was very difficult and figuring out what to do. But they thought through the process and the goal is to deliver a good variety of name-brand national retail uses. We’re going to bring a mix of good retail back to 86th Street and revitalize and take it to the future. This is the first step to that process,” said Spiegelman in a statement.
Senator Andrew Gounardes took to Twitter to comment on the project, stating, “When Century21 shuttered in 2020, it left a huge hole in the business fabric of Bay Ridge. Kudos to Councilman Justin Brannan for working tirelessly for 2.5 years to see this site reborn. I’m excited for what’s to come!”
“Believe me when I tell you not a week has gone by over the past 2.5 years where I haven’t had a meeting or a call about the future of the south side of 86th Street in Bay Ridge. Finally we are ready to share it with the world. The best is yet to come,” stated Brannan on Twitter.
According to officials, the new retail hub could be open by the end of 2024, as reported by Fox 5.