NBA All-Star Weekend kicks off in Brooklyn, and business owners are hoping to benefit from all of the economic activity, but as new shops around the Barclays Center open, some of the older ones are skeptical they'll able to stay.
A tent went up, autograph sessions were scheduled and merchandise was displayed, all ahead of NBA All Star Weekend at Barclays Center.
Not only is the arena getting ready to welcome crowds, so is the neighboring retail strip. Images of Michael Jordan are on display across Flatbush Avenue, part of a Nike pop up shop set to open Friday, simply called "Jordan."
Passersby welcomed the new activity.
"Well, it's definitely good for Brooklyn," said one passerby. "I think it's a good opportunity for us, so team Jordan all the way."
"We have a lot of unused space, and if anybody can make use of it, even if it's just as simple as a sneaker shop, I'm all for it," said another.
It's the latest wave of commercial activity spurred by the opening of Barclays Center in 2012.
"This is one of the most expensive corridors in Brooklyn right now in terms of retail rents," said Ofer Cohen, the president of Terra CRG which brokers commercial properties in Brooklyn.
Cohen said he's been involved in more than $50 million in real estate transactions in the area since the arena was built. He's leased this space to Nike.
"In terms of retail right around here, all these stores were $60 to $70 a foot three or four years ago, and now everything is $200 and above," Cohen said.
The boom, though, is not great news for some business owners, like Beatrice Hector, who operates a pediatric occupational therapy practice here.
"We're the last business on the strip," she said.
Hector said her rent has tripled in four years. Her business has grown, but she has nowhere to expand.
"Trying to move to another location in the same neighborhood, you can't really afford it," she said.
Hector wants to stay in the area, so she's launched an online campaign to help raise money for a new spot. She might have to move anyway, as the owner of her building plans to build up, constructing a second story, capitalizing on all the foot traffic Barclays brings, like all the NBA hoopla.
The first big event to take place at Barclays Center is the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night.