Located in a brand new high rise building, complete with Times Square-style jumbotrons on its façade, Paris Baguette is just one example of new businesses trying to cash in on a neighborhood that’s bursting at the seams. A new traffic plan is being designed to address the chronic congestion. And the future build-out of nearby Willets Point, plus a large-scale project slated to replace the area’s main parking lot, are both in development. In short, New York City’s most visible Main Street is not slowing down.
And from the NY Times:
At first glance, it looks as if the recession has spared downtown Flushing from the shuttered storefronts and silent sidewalks in many New York City neighborhoods. Along Main Street, in the heart of Community Board 7, the sidewalks are crowded with shoppers clutching red plastic shopping bags, darting in and out of shops and haggling with street vendors over slippers and DVDs.
But that doesn’t mean that the area, known as one of the city’s other Chinatowns, isn’t struggling. Peter Koo, who was born in Shanghai and arrived in Flushing 26 years ago, notes that the effects are just more subtle. Business has dropped about 10 percent at the five pharmacies he owns there as shoppers cut back on beauty products like makeup, combs and mirrors.
As president of the Flushing Chinese Business Association and a founder of the Flushing Business Improvement District, he has also heard from fellow business owners running restaurants, bakeries, barber shops and beauty salons that business has dropped by as much as 30 percent and that owners have trimmed some workers’ weekly schedules to four days from six.