Three of the most prime prime empty retail spaces in Park Slope are the ones on Fifth Avenue just north of Carroll Street and on Seventh just north of Union, and both have recently ramped up construction.
The Fifth Avenue storefronts, which were last home to Joe's Shoe Repair Shop and the mythical His & Hers Social and Athletic Club, have been gutted (along the rest of the building) over the past year or so, and the longtime scaffolding came down a couple months ago. Some plywood has gone up over the two facades, and it appears as if these are the earliest stages of rebuilding them as a matching set. It's been rumored that Luke's Lobster Bar is moving into at least one of the two spaces, but I wouldn't be surprised if they took over the entire ground floor.
Up the slope, the Seventh Avenue space that was last home to Chiles & Chocolate, which swapped places with longtime tenant Amin in June 2011 before closing that October and sitting vacant since, is currently being dismantled and a sidewalk shed has gone up, with permits issued to rebuild the facade. Landlord Nick Kostonis has been having a difficult time renting the space as-is, so he's apparently decided to replace the laquered-wood face with something a little more modern. Construction workers told me that the space has yet to be rented; the current asking price is $12,800/month. The space next door, last home to Yogo Monster, has also sat empty for quite some time; Berman Realty is asking for $10,500/ month. So what's better for a landlord: lowering the rent, or letting a space sit empty for years?