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On ‘Point’: Downtown mall finally opens with Century 21 outlet

Shopping around: Inside the new Century 21 sotre, which opened at Downtown’s City Point shopping center on Oct. 11.
Brooklyn Paper
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They’re finally getting to the Point.

Downtown’s new City Point mall officially opened for businesses on Tuesday with the arrival of Century 21 and early shoppers gave their thumbs up for the center’s lone emporium, saying they’re thrilled they no longer have to schlep out to the Bay Ridge branch of the popular discount department store or, even worse, visit Manhattan.

“It’s great, I love it, it’s right near where I work so I don’t have to take the train to go into Manhattan,” said Crown Heights resident Anne Belfon, who has been shopping at Century 21 for 32 years and hit the Fulton Mall outpost on its opening day. “This is just like what they have in Manhattan, it’s just as good.”

The new store spans two stories and includes a Brooklyn Roasting cafe.

Century 21 is still the only place to shop in the delay-plagued complex right now — most of the other storefronts were still hidden behind temporary walls on Tuesday, though the planned Target branch looked like it was nearing completion.

Hip Texan cinema chain Alamo Drafthouse was supposed to launch seven screens and a “House of Wax”-inspired bar on the top levels in August, but the owners have since pushed the opening date back indefinitely, citing only vague “setbacks.”

Tiki-themed grocery chain Trader Joe’s was also planning on opening a supermarket there this fall, but has revised its launch to sometime next year.

The center is also slated to include a slick subterranean food court that will include branches of Katz’s Delicatessen, Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue, and the Arepa Lady.

Next to the retail portion of the property, the block-long mega-development also includes two luxury residential towers, and a third one is on the way.

Delays are nothing new for City Point — developers Acadia Realty Trust and Washington Square Partners bought the site for $125 million in 2007 but the project flatlined as the economy tanked, and the Feds eventually pulled out a defibrillator in the form of $20 million in tax-exempt stimulus bonds in 2009.

Activists railed against the bailout at the time, arguing the shopping center — which replaced Albee Square Mall, long a hub of black commerce and hip-hop culture in Kings County — would contribute to the rapid gentrification of Downtown, which has seen scores of big-brand chains replace mom and pop shops along Fulton Mall.

Still, local shoppers say they like the new retail option now it is there.

“It’s a nice upgrade for this area,” said Downtown worker Milford Lewis, who especially dug Century 21’s cafe area, though he thinks the store’s prices are a little steep. “They are making shopping really amenable and comfortable to people when they come here and that’s what it’s all about, it’ll probably encourage people to spend a little more.”

— with Lauren Gill

Reach deputy editor Ruth Brown at rbrown@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8309. Follow her at twitter.com/rbbrown.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Mustafa Khant from Atlantic Ave says:
Where is this made up area?
Oct. 12, 2016, 4:13 pm
Ann Belfon says:
It brings jobs and revitalization to the area. What's not to like. It also will make Macy's Brooklyn step up their game. for too long Macy's Brooklyn has been treated like we in Brooklyn did not matter with that drab, dark store.
Oct. 13, 2016, 2:10 pm
Ms. Me from Bay Ridge says:
You must not have been to the Macy*s lately since it's been under renovation for months.
Oct. 13, 2016, 3:58 pm
Cynthia from Clinton Hill says:
OMG! Just went to the downtown store its amazing , just got the credit card. Happy bought a LV bag. I can't wait for target and the movie theater also to open, just hope the riff raff from the projects don't mess this up for customers who really wanna buy.
Oct. 18, 2016, 11:44 pm
Nay from East. Flatbush says:
So happy c21 is here, Cythnia you have people who are not from thw projects that will come and act the fool. So you have riff raff not living in the projects that will of course to act the fool.
Oct. 25, 2016, 7:42 am

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