Bay Ridge’s booming 86th Street is about to be unplugged.
In what will be the biggest retail closure to hit Bay Ridge since the Key Food supermarket shut its doors in May, the electronics superstore Circuit City — which opened its two-story location at the corner of 86th Street and Fifth Avenue only three years ago — is going out of business.
Thanks to the tanking economy, all 567 Circuit City stores nationwide, including another Brooklyn location in the Bruce Ratner-owned Atlantic Center Mall, will close by March, leaving approximately 34,000 unemployed — 40 to 50 of them in Bay Ridge.
“Due to challenges to our business and the continued bleak economic environment, Circuit City is going out of business and the company’s assets will be liquidated to pay off creditors,” read a message on the electronics purveyor’s Web site. “The process was extremely difficult and we were left with no other choice but to liquidate.”
The selloff has already started at the 86th Street location, but just how long it will stay open is anyone’s guess.
“We’ll be open until the inventory sells out,” one employee told The Brooklyn Paper. “How am I supposed to know when that will be?”
When Circuit City opened on the bustling commercial stretch in 2006, Ridgites cheered its arrival, said Community Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann. Now they’re mourning its departure.
“That site where Circuit City is currently housed was vacant for a very long time before Circuit City came in,” Beckmann said. “It was really to the great joy of the community that they invested here in 86th Street, and they will be very missed.”
The pending closure of Circuit City and the recent shuttering of KB Toys, 86th Street — which commands the highest rents per square foot in the borough — will hurt, John Logue, president of the 86th Street Business Improvement District, added.
“What’s scary now is just how light the foot traffic has gotten on 86th Street since the first of the year,” Logue said. “It certainly doesn’t bode well.”