This fall, shipping container dining and retail complex the Dekalb Market will be moving to a new yet-to-be-announced location. The news of the move came as a surprise to the vendors, who had been told by organizers Urban Space that they had about five years at the current location.
Over the weekend, Eater chatted with Urban Space's Director Eldon Scott about the company's plans for the move, and the reaction from the vendors:
What prompted the move?: Eldon Scott, Director of Urban Space: The project was designed in the beginning to be moveable. We had the opportunity to do it on the site until [the City Point developers] started construction, which is great. Our idea of sustainability is to be lightweight and able to move. So, in terms of the green footprint of this project, it's tremendous. We've been negotiating with a couple of sites, and since the announcement, we've been getting even more interest, so I think we're going to be in a great position to come up with a new awesome location. We're psyched about that. It will not only be cool to demonstrate how it will move, but to demonstrate what we've learned in the first year and to make adjustments in terms of size, layout, and all those things.
What are some of those adjustments? The great thing about the internet is we're going to put a survey out, both to the vendors and to the public, to get people's ideas and suggestions, because no one knows better than the people that were using the space. When we opened the first time around, we did a design competition, and it's so cool to do that kind of broad outreach. We want to engage the public and see how we can make adjustments.
Where are you looking? It's definitely Brooklyn, and we're definitely looking at sites in the neighborhood, but it depends on the owners of whatever piece of land we move to. What's been great is the outpouring of support within the real estate community, including our landlord.
Did the news that you had to move come as a surprise to you? I think that it's a sign that the real estate economy in the area has come back quickly. A few years ago when we were planning this project, no one thought that construction was going to get done so quickly. It means that Downtown Brooklyn is "going on." So for us, it's basically win-win as long as we can get ourselves into another location. I think in the beginning, everyone felt that it would take a little longer. It was designed to move. It wasn't designed outside of what our planning was. So we've been there two full seasons, and that's great, and it's kind of really established some nice buzz.
Has there been any blowback from the vendors? Um, you know, I think that people see the amount of goodwill around this project, and for the most part they're pretty psyched. We'd like everyone to continue. I'm sure some will and some won't, but we want to do everything we can to keep everyone in the project. The good thing about this is that the vendors understand the nuances of the project, and we can kind of address the things that we've learned over the last two seasons.
Are you absolutely moving in October? We don't have an official date yet, but it's definitely going to be this fall. We can do it pretty quickly. Probably the actual move will be in a matter of a couple of days. We've moved them in London, we've done this a number of times, and so we have a lot of experience on how to pick up and move these things.
Bonus Rumormongering: Eater hears that some of the vendors have their doubts about this quick turnaround. Although the project was designed to be picked up and moved, many of the shops have plumbing and electrical fixtures that will take some time to dismantle and reinstall. Eater also hears a rumor that possible new locations for the mall include East Williamsburg, Gowanus, and, although it sounds far-fetched, The Meatpacking District.
· All Coverage of Dekalb Market [~ENY~]