Barclays Center Neighbors See Consumer Increase; Car Commuters Below Projections
Businesses in the area surrounding Barclays Center said that they are "seeing some much-desired spillover from the arena on event nights," but that the increased traffic "doesn't always translate into an increase in sales," according to Anjali Athavaley of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The mixed results "point to a larger question of how much an arena drives sales at local businesses, and whether retailers are moving to the area because of the arena itself or because it is near affluent neighborhoods." Fan surveys commissioned by arena developer Forest City Ratner indicated that an average of 2,675 arena-goers are "spending money at local businesses before or after weekday Nets games." The number "rises to 3,470" for weekend games. Brokerage firm CPEX Real Estate said that vacancy rates "declined this year on Fifth Avenue, Flatbush Avenue and Atlantic Avenue on the blocks closest to Barclays." But CPEX Managing Partner Timothy King said that the area surrounding Barclays "still hasn't established itself as an entertainment district" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/13).
COMMUTING COMPUTING: In N.Y., Matt Flegenheimer cites data from Sam Schwartz Engineering as showing that car use at Barclays Center during the arena's first eight months has "been even lower than had been projected." SSE President, CEO & Founder Sam Schwartz said that to date, "only eight events, including concerts by Barbra Streisand, Justin Bieber and Andrea Bocelli, had filled even half of the on-site parking spaces." For weekday Nets games, "more fans traveled from Manhattan (36.4 percent) than from Brooklyn (31.6), almost always by public transportation." Only about 8% of fans "came from New Jersey, the Nets’ former home." The findings "drew in large part on 5,633 surveys conducted during eight Nets games: five on weekdays and three on weekends, when car use increased" to about 32% (N.Y. TIMES, 6/13).