A slice of suburbia is coming to Boerum Hill.
Craft giant Michaels will open a two-story store in a new mini-mall at Atlantic Avenue and Boerum Place next year, and locals say they’re baffled — if not bothered — the strip-mall staple is seeking a foothold in their little neighborhood.
“I wonder if they did some focus group testing in the area to find out if there’s a market,” said Vicky Vossen, who has lived in Boerum Hill for 30 years and doesn’t think of the area as particularly crafty. “I’m frankly surprised that there’s a market if they did. Still, I’ll go in and see what goes on.”
Michaels will open alongside an outlet of gym chain Blink Fitness in the still-under-construction Atlantic Galleria — which was originally slated to house an outlet of Pier 1 Imports — which will open around March next year, according to a spokesperson for developer Renaissance Realty Group.
It will be an odd juxtaposition on a street better known for Middle Eastern grocery stores, antique shops, and — more recently — small fashion boutiques, residents say.
“It seems pretty random to me,” said Hannah Hens-Piazza, adding that she prefers to shop at local stores.
Big chains are still few and far between in the small Brownstone nabe — though there is a Paper Source around the corner and a PetSmart a block away — but are proliferating in neighboring Downtown and Brooklyn Heights, so some denizens say the arrival of businesses like Michaels is not a shock.
“I’m not surprised,” said Carly Wertheim, who has lived in Boerum Hill for one year. “There have been so many large chain stores opening up in the neighborhood recently.”
And while adults may turn up their noses, one local educator says the school-project-supply emporium will be a welcome addition amongst the neighborhood’s younger citizens.
“My kids love it, so we’re happy” said Johanna Aeschliman, who is head of the nearby Brooklyn Heights Montessori School on Court Street.
Michaels did not return requests for comment.