BROOKLYN - Crafty Brooklyn residents came out for the opening of the borough's first-ever Michael's arts and crafts store.

It opened its doors Sunday at the Gateway Center in East New York. The 17,000-square-foot location, which took almost two years to build, is employing dozens of residents from around the borough.

Residents are thrilled to have a large craft retailer nearby, saying they would often travel to Queens or Long Island to purchase their supplies.

The store was giving away more than $1,000 in gift cards and prizes every hour throughout the day.

During the week, Michael's will be offering free craft lessons from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.