Why is 122 Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights still empty?

Tall order! Landlord of long-vacated Montague St. Starbucks holding out years for another big tenant

Brooklyn Paper
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He wants to make star bucks!

A dingy Brooklyn Heights storefront has been collecting dust since a Starbucks moved up the block nearly four years ago, because the owner refuses to lease it to anyone but another big-name tenant — and he is rich enough to keep it deserted for as long as it takes to find one, according to a spokesman.

“We’re spoiled with a triple-A credit rating and that’s what we’re looking for again,” said a rep for the owner — Nathan Silverstein, according to city records — who refused to give his name.

The caffeinated-dessert chain ditched the two-story retail space on Montague Street between Hicks and Henry streets in 2012, and now the brick building — its windows still outlined in Starbucks green — is empty save for some old construction materials, and locals say it looks like crappuccino and is bringing down the whole street.

“It’s an eyesore,” one resident announced at civic group the Brooklyn Heights Association’s annual meeting in February — a sentiment echoed by many others in attendance.

The denizen suggested he turn it over to the community to use as an art gallery until a new store comes along, but other Heights citizens say he should just lower his asking price to attract more prospects.

The civic association’s head honcho Patrick Killackey said he has spoken to Silverstein about dropping the figure, but to no avail.

The rep would not say how much his boss is asking, but Montague Street is notorious for inflated rental prices and high turnover rate, according one local real estate guru, as many landlords mistakenly believe their properties are as desirable as those along tony strips on the distant island on Manhattan.

“This is a very frothy environment,” said broker Chris Havens. “Brooklyn is still mortal.”

The average asking figures on the strip teeter around $150 per square foot, according to a report issued last fall by the Real Estate Board of New York — compared with $162 on the far more heavily trafficked Court Street nearby.

But the spokesman claimed he has received plenty of offers at the current price — it is just that none of them have been what his boss is looking for, as he will only sign on the dotted line with an established company that isn’t in danger of diving into the red.

“We don’t want these new people to start a new company or new corporation and then they go under and break the lease,” he said.

The rep said they are holding out for the long-stalled reopening of the neighboring Bossert Hotel, and hope some of the hotly anticipated historic lodging’s sheen will rub off and attract a high-profile client willing to put up the money for the space.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Tyler from pps says:
“We don’t want these new people to start a new company or new corporation and then they go under and break the lease,” he said.

But no rent AT ALL added to a hefty annual tax bill, basic utilities and basic maintenance costs for 4 to 10 years is just fine...? If only we could all have such amazing business sense.
March 24, 2016, Noon
samir kabir from downtown says:
Once you've had Starbucks, you never go back...
March 24, 2016, 4:20 pm
Ken from Bk heights says:
What a greedy jerk. Thanks for the eyesore that does nothing for our community.
March 24, 2016, 4:54 pm
Ken from Bk heights says:
What a greedy jerk.

A vacant useless property is not what our neighborhood needs.
March 24, 2016, 4:55 pm
Charles from Bklyn says:
I believe the technical term to describe this type of landlord is anti-community. Isn't it a great world that greed rules and teachers make nothing. Too bad the city doesn't use eminent domain against landlords that diminish neighborhoods through warehousing.
March 25, 2016, 11:55 am
Schlomo Garcia-Washington from Downtown says:
Silverstein =Yiddish for schmuck; even Brooklyn Heights deserves better, not to mention the gov't workers nearby. Enjoy hell, Silverstein-- mazel tov!
March 25, 2016, 5:42 pm
andy from carroll gardens says:
I hear from a lot of people it is the owner who is the problem - i'm told he is a slumlord looking to rip off an A tenant
March 28, 2016, 10:13 am
Andrew Porter from Brooklyn Heights says:
Apparently there were numerous leaks from the roof, which the landlord never fixed. Eventually, Starbucks moved out. So in addition to leaving the space empty, the leaks continue.

The place is used to house the delivery carts for Lassen & Hennigs, the gourmet store next door.
March 28, 2016, 1:51 pm
Lydia from Dumbo says:
Another good article on the use of Brooklyn retail space:
Nov. 30, 2017, 3:49 pm

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