The California-based grocery chain, which opened its first New York outpost near Union Square in 2006, has signed a lease to open an 18,000-square-foot store in a building that will be constructed at 206 Kent Ave., between North Third Street and Metropolitan Avenue. The store will be Trader Joe’s second location in Brooklyn. Its first opened on Atlantic Avenue in Cobble Hill in 2008.
Trader Joe’s will become the latest of several big-brand national retailers that have set up shop in Williamsburg as that neighborhood becomes an increasingly popular residential and retail district. Whole Foods plans to open a store next year on Bedford Avenue and North Fourth Street, three avenues away from the upcoming Trader Joe’s. Apple and JCrew have also set up shop there.
Alliance Private Capital purchased the vacant lot at 206 Kent Ave. for $18 million in January 2014 and is planning to build a 45,000-square-foot mixed-use building there with ground-floor retail and office space upstairs. The company borrowed from G4 Capital Partners, a Brooklyn-focused specialty lender, and recently refinanced for a $20 million loan from Canada-based lender Romspen that will help Alliance Private Capital begin developing the project. Trader Joe’s has agreed to anchor the building’s ground floor and basement level.
The building will be close to residential and mixed-use complexes at the south end of the Williamsburg waterfront, including the Domino Sugar Refinery, which is being built by Two Trees Management. Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer is also planning a residential complex just south of the Williamsburg Bridge. Trader Joe’s Williamsburg location will be close to residents of those upcoming projects, totaling hundreds of thousands of square feet, and will likely tap into the boatloads of shoppers who frequent the area as well as the neighborhood’s growing residential population.
The chain has become a popular supermarket in the city, with lines at its Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan locations typically winding around the store.
Trader Joe’s entry into Williamsburg follows an agreement with another supermarket chain, Wegmans, which will open a store just south of Williamsburg, in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The outpost will be Wegmans’ first in the city.