“Gentrification…” is good

The following is a response to a post on the Ditmas Park Blog .

With apologies to Oliver Stone and Gordon Gekko…
“Gentrification…” is good.

I know many feel new buildings should provide a percentage of the apartments as “affordable” housing but in my opinion there are too many ways to get around that and the prices are only lower in relation to the highest priced apartment in that building, not truly affordable.
So I would argue that gentrification here helps develop other less desirable neighborhoods.
I moved here five years ago from the village and the price of my apartment was astonishing compared to other parts of New York including Queens and Brooklyn. Now we are at or near market rate but still quite low compared to Manhattan or the more developed parts of Brooklyn.
What that does for those who are still looking is make them search further south or across CIA in areas that were or still are marginal. Slowly the pattern helps all the neighborhoods take a step up. Those people who bought here many years ago are rewarded for their foresight and those who own in less desirable neighborhoods will slowly see new people move in and need services like groceries and restaurants. New businesses that couldn’t exist before will find they can make a go of it.
I lived in the Village back when it was the “Village”, small Mom and Pop stores and affordable café’s, well that’s gone but the new Village moved to East Village then down to the lower East Side. Friends who were willing walk past Tompkins Sq. Park at night in 80’s are now living in a very desirable neighborhood. Same here.
BTW – As I was being evicted from my regulated garden apartment in the Village I was traumatized, I now see it as the best thing that could have happened to me. I’m a home owner in a great neighborhood.
The artists, musicians etc. who bought these Victorian houses 10-15 years ago are seeing the neighborhood come alive. Those “pioneers” deserve their reward and we “newcomers” benefit from their courage.
The article about Jim Mamary and Allan Harding is another great example. Smith Street was not a destination to say the least when they started there. And who would have thought about putting a Bistro, of all things, in a bodega on Newkirk?
IMO - Pomme de Terre will bring major social changes to that area. By example the neighbors can see the possibilities.
The question is what happens to renters. If they are unregulated their rents will go up and they will have to either buy or move. But they will help the neighborhoods they move to by making grocery stores viable as well as other businesses.
I see gentrification to be the same as Darwinism.
Brutal? Yes in some cases but an opportunity to some that are willing to take a chance on owning their own place to live.
The one thing I think the government could and should do is help with affordable loans. The subprime beast of the unfettered capitol markets is exactly the opposite of what good government should allow and we will pay for it for a long time.

Why shouldn’t ALL of NYC eventually be a “nice” place to live?

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