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Thread: Gentrification

  1. #1

    Default Gentrification, and Landlords

    So my experiences with apartment hunting has led me to the suspicion that New York City Landlords are now taking the form of multi-national real estate firms buying buildings in areas marked for gentrification. I'm curious as to how valid this notion is.

  2. #2

    Default Gentrification

    On August first, the New York Times had a special supplement covering Harlem Week. It was a glorious celebration of.....Gentrification. Parts of Harlem, which is generally inclusive of West, Central and East Harlem, seem to have embraced gentrification zealously. The reasons are obvious; there has been no real displacement, most of the development has been vacant buildings and the residents are benefitting from the influx of working people, professionals and developers into the area. Unfortunately, the east side has been noticeably lacking in enthusiasm and, although it has been gentrifying, the pace is slower than in other sections of Harlem. If you try and build anything other than low income housing in East Harlem, there is a public outcry. Yes, there is a place for low income housing but in moderation. Why would we want to import large numbers of low income and public dependent people when we already have an extremely large indigenous population? We obviously wouldn’t, unless we were a local politician and dependent on maintaining the status quo. Melissa Mark Viverito, the council member for East Harlem, made preventing gentrification one of the key elements of her campaign and her constituents bought into it. In one of the Times articles, they trumpet the success of the Auto Mall on East 127th Street and it is described as housing several of the largest black owned dealerships in the northeast and the first new car dealership in the area for 40 years. But, wait a minute, this is on the east side, commonly referred to as Spanish Harlem, so why not the largest Hispanic owned dealerships? The answer is that the Hispanic population on the east side keep getting in their own way while the black population on the west side is accepting change. They are working together, bringing in capital, developing political muscle and solving problems while we beg for money to keep our low income population intact. There is no real difference in the gentrification process on the west side or the east side; for both it involved renovating empty buildings and developing vacant lots into livable space. However, our narrow minded councilwoman and her narrow minded constituents seem to want to turn back the clock to a time when crime, rape, drugs and gangs were rampant and El Barrio was a dirty word. Melissa Mark Viverito has gone on record as decrying the fact that building a Home Depot in the East River Mall would be a boon to building owners and hasten gentrification of the neighborhood. This is being built on the site of the old Washburn Wire factory which has been vacant and falling down for decades, and will create hundreds of jobs for local residents. How about banding together instead and insure that there will be some Hispanic owned stores in the mall? That’s the west side mentality....and the mentality of the far sighted people who came in when East Harlem was a ghetto and began the gentrification process that led to the nice neighborhood that it is today. It could be nicer if we re-zoned Third Avenue, our Main Street, and allowed it to gentrify instead of maintaining the present eyesores. That probably won’t happen until enough open minded people come here to live and vote for change. Then, maybe, we will have East Harlem week and publically celebrate our gentrification.

  3. #3
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Speaking for myself, when I'm presented with a solid block of copy online with no spacing or paragraphs, I tend not to read it because it gets too exhausting.

  4. #4
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    I agree can you edit your post and put spaces and paragraphs. You might get more responses. also maybe we can move this to New York City Guide For New Yorkers.

  5. #5

    Default

    wow... that is a big paragraph. I can't concentrate on it...too dense...blurry.. need space...

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SilentPandaesq
    wow... that is a big paragraph. I can't concentrate on it...too dense...blurry.. need space...
    Okay guys, here you go:

    On August first, the New York Times had a special supplement covering Harlem Week. It was a glorious celebration of.....Gentrification.

    Parts of Harlem, which is generally inclusive of West, Central and East Harlem, seem to have embraced gentrification zealously. The reasons are obvious; there has been no real displacement, most of the development has been vacant buildings and the residents are benefitting from the influx of working people, professionals and developers into the area.

    Unfortunately, the east side has been noticeably lacking in enthusiasm and, although it has been gentrifying, the pace is slower than in other sections of Harlem. If you try and build anything other than low income housing in East Harlem, there is a public outcry.

    Yes, there is a place for low income housing but in moderation. Why would we want to import large numbers of low income and public dependent people when we already have an extremely large indigenous population? We obviously wouldn’t, unless we were a local politician and dependent on maintaining the status quo.

    Melissa Mark Viverito, the council member for East Harlem, made preventing gentrification one of the key elements of her campaign and her constituents bought into it. In one of the Times articles, they trumpet the success of the Auto Mall on East 127th Street and it is described as housing several of the largest black owned dealerships in the northeast and the first new car dealership in the area for 40 years.

    But, wait a minute, this is on the east side, commonly referred to as Spanish Harlem, so why not the largest Hispanic owned dealerships? The answer is that the Hispanic population on the east side keep getting in their own way while the black population on the west side is accepting change. They are working together, bringing in capital, developing political muscle and solving problems while we beg for money to keep our low income population intact.

    There is no real difference in the gentrification process on the west side or the east side; for both it involved renovating empty buildings and developing vacant lots into livable space. However, our narrow minded councilwoman and her narrow minded constituents seem to want to turn back the clock to a time when crime, rape, drugs and gangs were rampant and El Barrio was a dirty word.

    Melissa Mark Viverito has gone on record as decrying the fact that building a Home Depot in the East River Mall would be a boon to building owners and hasten gentrification of the neighborhood. This is being built on the site of the old Washburn Wire factory which has been vacant and falling down for decades, and will create hundreds of jobs for local residents. How about banding together instead and insure that there will be some Hispanic owned stores in the mall?

    That’s the west side mentality....and the mentality of the far sighted people who came in when East Harlem was a ghetto and began the gentrification process that led to the nice neighborhood that it is today. It could be nicer if we re-zoned Third Avenue, our Main Street, and allowed it to gentrify instead of maintaining the present eyesores.

    That probably won’t happen until enough open minded people come here to live and vote for change. Then, maybe, we will have East Harlem week and publicly celebrate our gentrification.
    Pretty interesting post, once bite-sized.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc
    Pretty interesting post, once bite-sized.
    Yea, but it sounds like he/she has it in for the Politico in the nabe. Also I think that the West side of Harlem has its share of anti-development types too.

    But in all some valid points raised, more people should point out the self-interest of politicians in keeping development at bay. It is not solely a problem in Harlem, but in Brooklyn as well.

  8. #8
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    a perfect example of something great coming to East Harlem and the comunity kill it...

    http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/sh...ghlight=handel

  9. #9

    Default

    personally I'm for gentrifying the whole region. An influx of people able to pay higher rents means more money invested in the infrastructure.

  10. #10

    Default

    But where exactly are you going to come up with the jobs that will allow these people to pay higher rents?

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeKruger View Post
    personally I'm for gentrifying the whole region. An influx of people able to pay higher rents means more money invested in the infrastructure.
    exactly. poor people should move to Tampa - its a better life down there anyway for those with less.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peakrate212 View Post
    exactly. poor people should move to Tampa - its a better life down there anyway for those with less.
    i agree. maybe not the poor, but nimby's. But maybe not tampa, no reason to doom them to decades of no development. How about a random corner of iraq -- they are sure to not have too much change for awhile over there. oh...i entertain myself too much, sad thing is thats its true, on all counts.

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peakrate212 View Post
    exactly. poor people should move to Tampa - its a better life down there anyway for those with less.
    You mean they can join all the other middle class people coming out of college with masters degrees in something more complicated than "buisness" (sorry MBA's! ).

    It is not just the poor people that are being forced out of the city. A lot of middle-class people cannot afford to live here, or anywhere NEAR here.

  15. #15

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    Gentrify.

    It all goes in cycles anyway. Read the life of some buildings in NYC. In the 1920's it's a luxury building with elevator operators, smoking room and winter garden....then the 15 room apartments are divided into cubicles for welfare recipients in the late 1960's....then the whole thing is gutted and becomes luxury lofts in 2006.

    The NYC of say, 1965 was a whole different city than the NYC of 1975...and the city of just 30 years ago has little to do with the NYC of today.

    Who says it can't happen again? A terrorist attack...a dirty bomb... a war...who knows.

    Here's Eartha explaining it all for you. Listen up kiddies:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=_4PnEBTRv...related&search=

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