1718-1720 Jerome Ave: From Stationers to Insurance to Thrift Shop?

(Photos: Above by Ray Johnson; below PropertyShark).

The insurance office has left the space across the street from Chase bank. What is next for the storefront located at 1718-1720 Jerome Avenue? Is there a thrift store in store for us?

Years ago, when there was no Staples Office superstore, I would stop by Bay Stationers — which took up one part of the space — for all kinds of supplies. It was the main stop for pens, composition books, binders, school supplies, calligraphy materials, Corrasable Bond typing paper, and whatever else a student could need. You name it, they had it — all tucked into one tiny little spot.

The store was always thoroughly stocked and products were reasonably priced. You could pick up a simple thing like an eraser or a pencil without having to get a lot of excess packaging or unnecessary quantity.

The best part about having a small office supply store on Jerome Ave was that it was right across the street from the U.S. Post Office. So, whenever anyone needed an envelope, writing paper, a permanent marker, or some packaging tape, it would just take a minute or two to run in the store, make the purchase, and be back on line. People were always friendly enough to hold your place.

Bay Stationers is still in Sheepshead Bay and is running as an office supply store to companies. The person I spoke with said that the Bay Stationers Store left the Jerome Ave location in 1991 and moved to Ocean Ave & Ave U.

Then they left the Avenue U location in 2000 and now operate out of an office, without a storefront, where they sell rubber stamps, office supplies, letterhead, and envelopes (etc.). They rely mainly on the yellow pages and years of clientele lists to let companies and professional offices know that they are still serving the community.

I had only been in there a couple of times. Once or twice I went in the insurance office to find out the price of a refrigerator magnet decoration. They had a little curio cabinet on display in the front window with little handmade trinkets that would catch my eye.

Another time, I went in there to find out if they had a notary public on staff, and they didn’t (or said they didn’t). The last time I went in there it was to find out about the defensive driving class. They also didn’t have any information, but eventually gave me a number for a place in Bay Ridge where they teach the class.

So, in the end, the insurance store wasn’t of much use to me and it just might be that others weren’t benefiting, either. It’s unclear whether the insurance company is still in operation, because the website and telephone number listed on the sign don’t seem to have any connection with the address.

I spoke to a potential tenant and she said that she was looking into opening a thrift store at vacant spot. That got me excited, because I have been feeling the need for a thrift store in the main Sheepshead Bay area.

There is a Salvation Army thrift store on Nostrand Avenue, but, it’s not maintained that well and doesn’t seem to have so many good finds. Late last year, Second Hand Joe’s opened in Gerritsen Beach. I stopped by there and found the store well-stocked, with delivery people ready to go. Joe has a nice stock of used furniture, with some truly good pieces, but it is not the type of place where you can find vintage clothing or thingamajigs.

So, we still need an everything-you-can-think-of thrift store. Let’s hope the potential tenant isn’t scared off by the $2K a month rent, lack of convenient parking for customers, and the false perception that people in Sheepshead Bay are too rich to shop thriftily.