New Retail Building Coming To Caesar’s Bay Shopping Center

Courtesy of Surrey Equities

Courtesy of Surrey Equities

Bensonhurst’s waterfront mini mall is about to expand.

Real estate investment company Surrey Equities has filed plans to build a two-story, 11,500-square-foot building commercial building at Caesar’s Bay Shopping Center, reports YIMBY.

The massive lot, which borders Gravesend Bay and Shore Parkway, already boasts a Kohl’s, Five Guys, Starbucks, Toys R’ Us, and a Best Buy. The new structure is expected to house a mix of “food and service-oriented tenants,” Leon Silvera, Surrey co-founder, told YIMBY. As of yet, the building has not been leased out.

The Caesar’s Bay addition is not the only new commercial space coming to town. A few blocks over, on 86th Street and Bay 19th Street, car wash is currently being transformed into a 8,200-square foot store front, that could hold up to five commercial tenants when it is complete this spring.

Does Bensonhurst really need more retail chains? What stores or fast food establishments are missing from our shopping strips? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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  • Sean F

    I may be in the minority in terms of wanting to be able to leisurely browse for books in person, but we need a Barnes & Noble. There aren’t very many local bookstores, and hiking down to Park Slope for B&N is very inconvenient. A B&N could do good business if it partnered with the local high schools and colleges.

    • Robert D

      or you could just go on and by the same book for 10 bucks cheaper and sent to your house but if you must have a book store and have no value for money there’s one on 13th ave and a fantastic shop on 3rd and 84th.

      • Sean F

        I’m aware of the options. I’m a book publishing executive. As much as I like the few local bookstores, they don’t have what I want most of the time (my tastes are eclectic). As for Amazon, I favor brick-and-mortar stores. No deliveries to pay for, or chase through the USPS or UPS when no one is there to sign. I like taking about books with friendly and knowledgeable sales associates (and I’m all about keeping local people employed – I won’t use ATMs unless it’s after business hours, and never for a deposit – those all happen at a teller window).

        My time and money is no more valuable than any of the working people who online retailers have put out of work. Physical stores are simply much better for the neighborhood and the economy than any digital store of any kind.

        • darkenergy

          Could not agree more. Plus, the presence of a bookstore in an area says a lot about the culture and people in that neighborhood. It is actually a great thing.

          • J

            The presence doesn’t mean anything if it has no customers and closes in a few years…

          • darkenergy

            I’m sure if it gets built, people will come

      • Kim O

        It’s sad that stores like barnes and nobles, Strands, and Boarders closed it doors because of ebooks. I think its possible to own a independent bookstore and have a cafe inside, host story time for kids, and events. People can donate books that they no longer need and the book store can sell it back out for a decent price, it won’t be like but its something.

        • Sean F

          Ebooks did not kill the brick-and-mortar stores. That’s a myth in the general public, but publishing industry data does not support that as factual. Borders went bankrupt before ebooks were anything but a niche blip on the sales market.

          • Patrick J. O’Connor

            That’s true. I’m self-published. Though I’m terribly unsuccessful, I’ve sold 17x more paperbacks than ebooks. I’m sure I’m not alone here. Ebooks just aren’t satisfying. Nothing beats a good old paperback in your hands. B&N would be perfect somewhere over there by the water.

          • Sean F

            I would disagree with you about ebooks. I find them preferable in many circumstances, but then, I like to read monster-sized fantasy novels, and ebooks are much more convenient on the subway and in bed. For more modest sized books, print continues to appeal.

      • Chris Peña

        Amazon is planning to open 200-300 books stores in the next couple of years

        • Robert D

          Yea i heard that on the news and i’m exited about it. I will now be able to go and look at my books first and still get those amazing Amazon prices! Down side is what ever small book stores are left …. they will be finished. Capitalism! Then again Tower Records made the same mistake and charged 10 dollars more per CD and well, you know the ending of that story.

        • Sean F

          It is an interesting experiment on Amazon’s part. The publishing industry will be watching it with great interest. It probably won’t be a game changer in terms of physical book sales, but if they can boost Kindle sales, which have slowed, it will be good for them.

          Personally, I prefer Nook devices, which permit me to read a wider variety of ebooks, and doesn’t require a cumbersome proprietary way to sideload non-B&N content.

    • yuekitian

      I’ve always enjoyed the cozy atmosphere of book stores and while having one in the neighborhood would be really nice I don’t think it would happen. The price of selling books in a store front is just too costly and it would be zero competition with online retailers like and options like e-books. Sad to say but most book stores went out of business because people would check out the book in stores like B&N or Borders and then just buy it online. Even the B&N textbook store in Manhattan closed.

      • Sean F

        I work in book publishing. Many of these points are myths. There were a lot of internal factors behind the crash of the brick-and-mortar bookstores. However, recent data indicates that more independents are opening all across the country, and that online book sales have either plateaued (ebooks) or seen slower growth (physical books). The local bookstore is primed to make a comeback similar to the new surge in vinyl record albums. At least, in places where the word “community” matters (which Bensonhurst is sadly no longer, since we are fracturing into all sorts of ethnic cliques).

        Textbooks and trade books are two entirely different things. Price point and the buying power of the large conservative states like Texas are what made the textbook market fall apart. And that’s a boon. I just got my son all of his college textbooks, rented on his laptop, for a total of $75 (retail cost would have been over $300).

    • Evan1407

      Do people in Bensonhurst actually read?

      • Sean F

        Absolutely. When I had a yard sale featuring 100s of books a couple of years back, I sold out very quickly. Mind you, it could have been the prices – it’s hard to beat $2 for a hardcover novel or children’s picture book. But, yes, people in this neighborhood love to read.

        I present a pre-K literacy program at several neighborhood libraries, and they are packed with people. The branches on 86th & 18th; Bath & 26th; and Kings Hwy & Stillwell usually have to turn people away because they are full to capacity. All of our families go home with armloads of books, and tell me every week about the books they’ve bought (mostly online) for their kids and themselves. Bensonhurst is a wonderfully literate community.

      • Peter

        I grew up in Bensonhurst and I used to go to the library 2-3 times a week to take out books. You?

        • Evan1407

          I grew up in New Haven and graduated from Yale. You?

          • Emerald5Forever

            Ha ha, no need to be snide about literacy, man…

          • Evan1407

            You’re correct. No need at all. So, knock it off.

  • Kim O

    I agree with a book store in the area and a craft store like, Michaels. Have the businesses make events during summer time and get the community to come out and do activities. I think theres enough bakeries and restaurants on 86th street.

    • ROSALIE907

      Michael’s would be good and how about a Trader Joe’s? The one we currently have is too far away and there’s no parking facilities. I usually go to the one on Metropolitan Avenue is far away but they do have parking facilities. I also hear that a Trader Joe’s was coming to Washington Avenue but that’s far also and I’m sure they won’t have parking facilities. FYI, I had heard about this Trader Joe’s about a year ago and still have not heard anything about when it would be opening.

      • Kim O

        I would love a Trader Joe’s there, but I think they should replace Walbaums. That’s a great location. Theres a Michaels at Gateway Mall, its far and theres always traffic jam even when there’s no construction. I wonder what they are going to do with the abandon tennis courts? They should convert the building into a beautiful restaurant. What a great view it would be. Ceaser’s Bay have many potential.

        • Sean F

          My wife would lose her mind if we had Trader Joe’s on the Waldbaum’s lot.

  • Larry Litmanen

    I am all for development but entering and exiting the highway is pure hell since BJs opened. They need to address that issue as well. An underpass or overpass, whatever it takes. One of the pleasures of that plaza is plenty of parking so people drive, you need a car when going to BJs and you have a highway entry/exit point…………….and a major street in Cropsey.

    • Irene Lieber

      I agree. driving in this area causes traffic jams , I still don’t understand the leaving the Belt Parkway at Bay Parkway when there are green and red light and a turning light. Double standard. Coming off the belt people make the lane one lane instead of two. To much traffic around this area.

  • Syl

    They should make a Boston Market in this area!

  • No Roger No Rerun No rent

    Five Below. Please fit in a Taco Bell, too.

  • Sophia

    A trader Joes would be nice to have.

  • Evan1407

    That mini mall would do a lot better if the MTA would come inside and stop in front of Kohl’s instead of just skirting the property on Shore Road but I guess they would never think of that. Many, many people in New York don’t have cars and it’s a long walk to the bus stop in front of TD Bank when you’re disabled or are carrying a lot of packages. Just the extra customers from all the Bay Parkway apartment houses alone would boost the sales there.

    • Sean F

      That’s a great idea. I know that one of the Brooklyn to Staten Island bus lines actually makes a loop into the parking lot at the Staten Island Mall, and then goes back along it’s way. And the B9 was extended all the way down Flatbush Avenue from its old final stop at Avenue L to Kings Plaza.

      Direct public transit to Caesar’s Bay storefronts would be excellent.

  • joelen

    How about a Target? Targets at Exit 15 and Atlantic Ave are a bit far.

  • OneObservantOne

    The Bay Ridge library (73rd/Ridge) has a book sale twice a month — 1-5PM on the first Tuesday and 10AM-4PM on the third Saturday.

  • OneObservantOne

    The Salvation Army (69th/3rd) also has used books.

  • darkenergy

    Does Bensonhurst really need more retail chains? The answer is YES!

    What stores or fast food establishments are missing from our shopping strips?

    Um, let’s see…if you look at other Brooklyn neighborhoods, Bensonhurst is lagging and lacking in terms of quaintness and amenities. How about a movie theater? I think it would be an ideal location for a multiplex. A bookstore is a great idea as one has suggested below. Maybe more restaurants…and better clothing stores. The area needs something that will elevate the culture and feel of the neighborhood. I love Best Buy and it does great business, but this shopping area is in desperate need of an upgrade. Make it a destination instead of a one-stop shop for errands for a lack of better options.

    Just think about all the jobs it will generate.

    • Sean F

      When it comes to fast food, I think Bensonhurst is full-up, though I wouldn’t mind a Moe’s Mexican place. There’s a defunct Taco Bell on 18th Avenue in the 60s that’s been closed for about 10 years, I think, so I can’t see that chain coming any closer than the Bay Ridge 87th Street location. A White Castle might do decent business around here, though it would do even better if we had more nightlife. I can’t think of any other fast food chains that would work around here.

      A nearby movie theater would be great. We could use something closer and more modern than the Alpine. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is a property large enough for a multiplex, which is the only kind of new theater that AMC would bother to build these days. Regal/UA isn’t going to build one here that would reduce traffic at Sheepshead Bay.

      • darkenergy

        I was thinking something like Johnny Rockets or a nice Brooklyn diner. I am hoping for a movie theater but that is a long shot. And I hear you on the traffic. It’s pretty bad over there. But that shopping center definitely has potential. Maybe if Kohl’s decides to leave then AMC/Regal/UA can take over 😉

        • Sean F

          We’ve got plenty of burger joints (though if a Johnny Rockets took over for the BK on 86th near Bay Pkway, I’d get behind that). We’ve got the best Brooklyn diner of all, the Vegas. No need for another, IMHO.

          I think we might lose Baby’s R Us before we lose Kohl’s, but that wouldn’t be nearly enough footage for a movie theater. Plus, parking would be a nightmare if there were a movie theater right next to two big stores.

          • darkenergy

            They’re opening/probably already opened a Johnny Rockets on Coney Island so we’ll see how that experiment works. As for Caesar’s Bay, you’re right about the sq footage…but who knows, maybe they’ll reclaim some land and build something nice there. Still hoping for a movie theater tho.

    • King Mills

      I agree with your sentiment but as for the options Id differ.
      The area needs a sit down chain restaurant such as a TGI Fridays, PF Changs, Cheesecake Factory, On The Boarder, McCormick & Schmicks, Ruth Chris Steakhouse, etc.
      100% agree with the movie theater. AMC with Dine-In service is about the only thing worth doing these days.
      Then we need a Dicks Sporting Goods to replace Models. A few good home/cooking stores are needed as well, Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Villeroy-Boch. I do think a good book/music store such as Barns & Noble plus a café would be nice too.
      Everyone leaves Bensonhurst to shop these days. Thus why no companies are willing to come here to open anymore. Its a community filled with false census results, false economic data and a city government that has no idea what actually is going on around here.

      • Sean F

        I wouldn’t refuse a TGI Fridays, but who needs a P.F. Chang’s when we have so much great Asian food already?

        I’m lean toward Modell’s over Dick’s. I shop at both for a lot of sporting goods for my kids and myself, and find them about equal in quality, selection and price, but Modell’s gives me better, more useful coupons.

        As for all the rest, you continue to overestimate the economic status of the neighborhood, and the interest of the community in those sort of high-end stores. Smartest thing such stores do is stay away from demographically inappropriate neighborhoods like Bensonhurst.

      • darkenergy

        I like the idea of having some of these high-end shops and would love to see a Pottery Barn open here someday…but it probably won’t happen anytime soon. I have never been to a PF Changs so that might be a good idea…but definitely yes to a Cheesecake Factory.

    • Emerald5Forever

      These sound like good ideas.

      For me, I would like:
      Barnes and Noble
      Movie Theater

      • darkenergy

        To start, these additions would be nice 🙂

  • Steve Caruso

    Trader Joe’s!

    • kinner

      Or just a supermarket would be nice.

  • Phil

    AMC theater please. There is no AMC in Brooklyn.

    • Emerald5Forever

      I would also like that…it would be much better than riding 1 hour+ all the way to the city.

  • Dcbklyn

    I would like a Walmart please

    • Sean F

      You can forget about seeing Walmarts in NYC anytime soon. The City Council as currently comprised will not let them in. Walmart knows this, and probably don’t think twice about us any more. Jersey, Westchester and Nassau are as close as Walmart will get.

  • kinner

    Traffic around that area has gotten a lot worse. I would love to have more stores in that area, but having Bay Parkway as the only access is a real nightmare. I think one option is to turn Shore Parkway between 26th Ave to the Caesar’s Bay parking lot into a 2 way street, have it end turning left into the parking lot before the Belt Parkway entrance. This can help alleviate some of the traffic coming east from Cropsey turning onto Bay Parkway south.