An aerial view of Brooklyn in the 1940’s reveals a mostly residential neighborhood (University of Florida)

While NAI Hallmark and Regency Centers have gone vertical on mixed use projects on 220 Riverside and Brooklyn Station on Riverside, with the mixed-use Vista Brooklyn breaking ground this year, locally-based Trevato Development Group has quietly assembled a significant presence in Brooklyn over the past decade. In addition to Brooklyn Food Hall, the group is behind the redevelopment of Mount Calvary Baptist Church along Spruce and Dora Streets into a brewpub and restaurant and of the 4,852 square foot former Pennok Floral Art Deco building at 260 Park Street. Trevato is also in the process of selling land to the Vestcor Companies for the development of the proposed 133-unit Lofts at Brooklyn affordable housing apartments along Spruce Street. The developers have additional property throughout Brooklyn under various holding companies, signifying a sustained commitment to the neighborhood’s long term development.

The former Mt Calvary Baptist Church is on target for an adaptive reuse project, to turn the historical structure into a brewery with an adjoining, new construction restaurant building.

CBRE is marketing this beautifully preserved Art Deco building at 260 Park Street for a new user to breathe life into the space. Images via CBRE.

Vestcor hopes to break ground on the 133-unit Lofts at Brooklyn affordable housing apartment building later this year.

While downtown and Brooklyn may not have significant residential density, retail is taking off in Brooklyn because of its centralized urban core location and easy access to Interstates 95 and 10. These factors make Brooklyn’s true retail trade area significantly larger than conventional wisdom suggests. Over 181,426 residents with an average household income of $53,293 live within a five mile radius. Considering the retail trade area in its true context, Brooklyn retailers benefit from an attractive buying power that generates over $78 million in annual grocery sales and over $42 million in food and beverage sales.

Trevato has retained CBRE to lead leasing efforts for the Brooklyn properties. Susan Masucci, a spokeswoman for Trevato, told ICSC’s Shopping Centers Today publication that the neighborhood’s strong five-year growth projections support these ambitious efforts, noting that “With new residential options coming online in Brooklyn, the demand for retail and restaurant offerings will only increase.” Fast forward five years from now and the development team sees that the neighborhood will be, “highly populated and have that true new-urban feel.”

The Park Street road diet concept.

Redevelopment of these Brooklyn properties appears to be dependent upon the completion of the Park Street road diet, which is seen as a critical catalyst for the continued rebirth of Brooklyn. The $2.2 million infrastructure project will reduce Park Street from a four-lane undivided roadway into a two-lane street between Forest Street and the Lee Street viaduct. The project will also upgrade sidewalks, add on-street parking and will feature the urban core’s first protected bicycle lanes. Park Street has suffered from a stagnant development pattern over the past four decades. The road diet, which should break ground in late 2019, will jump start the kind of walkable, compact and contextually sensitive mixed-use development that has so far eluded Riverside Avenue, which features wide boulevard-style streets designed to move a large volume of automobile traffic through the neighborhood as quickly as possible.

Next: See the plans to turn two historical structures in Brooklyn into Jacksonville’s first food hall.