1. Open For Business   2.  Existing Site Prior to “Activation”   3.  Conceptual Rendering   4.  Kiosks as Virtual Storefronts  5. Hiring Locals to Build the Site  6. MIB Creating the Mural   7.  Community Design Meeting   8.  Locals Labor Building the Site   9.  Restaurant Pods Delivered



While Brownsville is not typically known for its marketplaces and makers, there is a gem in the neighborhood showcasing local talent in the heart of Mother Gaston Boulevard. A new, community-led marketplace at 425 Mother Gaston Boulevard, MGB POPS highlights the talents of local makers, artists and entrepreneurs. The marketplace is a project of local residents coordinated by the national nonprofit Community Solutions with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) in concert with the Ocean Hill-Brownsville Neighborhood Improvement Association (OHBNIA).

MGB POPS is a direct response to residents’ requests for more retail and food options in a neighborhood that suffers from historically low outside commercial investment.

Residents raised the subject at the first Hope Summit, a large-scale community-planning meeting coordinated by Community Solutions with the goal of facilitating resident-led change in the neighborhood. As usual, the data validates residents’ sense of what their neighborhood needs most.

The marketplace will be home to free-standing vendor kiosks and stores housed in modified shipping containers, replete with the wares of local entrepreneurs and businesses. When the shops open, residents will find locally made clothing, food, accessories, cosmetics and more. MGB POPS won’t just cater to locals, but will offer a new destination for residents citywide to purchase local food and crafts, and build on Brooklyn’s well-known reputation as a hub for artists and entrepreneurs.

Client: Community Solutions, Brownsville Partnership, New York City Economic Development Corporation, Ocean Hill-Brownsville Neighborhood Improvement Association
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Area: 2,500 sf
Status: Completed 2014
Mural: Quardean Lewis-Allen, Made in Brownsville