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Old 10-01-2014, 12:56 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
. If you were of an upper middle class profession in 1980, I suppose you shopped at an Acme, Pathmark, Star Market, Safeway, Piggly Wiggly or any of the other chain grocers the rest of the masses shopped at. Sure, you have upper middle class people who still shop at those stores today, but now you've got the Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and other stores that cater specifically to that demographic. IMO, Manhattanites (and some Brooklynites) are culturally removed from the rest of the city in a way that Manhattanites of the past were not. And that's a big difference.
There aren't that many Whole Foods like stores in NYC still. And Trader Joe's isn't considered upmarket at all in the western US. The Key Foods and other local grocery chains still seem prevelant most everywhere. I've only seen Pathmarket in the NYC area growing up in that list. And then A&P, Waldbaum's and King Kullen.
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Old 10-01-2014, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
There aren't that many Whole Foods like stores in NYC still. And Trader Joe's isn't considered upmarket at all in the western US. The Key Foods and other local grocery chains still seem prevelant most everywhere. I've only seen Pathmarket in the NYC area growing up in that list. And then A&P, Waldbaum's and King Kullen.
The broader point was that you have a type of cultural segregation that runs along class/income lines. Whole Foods is merely one example of that.
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Old 10-01-2014, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
I've seen similar in Oakland... people or at least their parents shunned Oakland and many of these areas are again popular... and a big factor in my opinion is proximity to San Francisco.

The new urban pioneers couldn't homestead if there were not people selling... to me, Gentrification is when one group wants out and another wants in...
Not necessarily. In Oakland, you may have more homeowners, so it likely seems that way to you. But in cities like NYC with a higher proportion of renters, a lot of the current residents don't want out, but don't have much of a choice.

I think gentrification is a weird thing. As a homeowner, part of me wants all of the poor people to get kicked out because, frankly, they are keeping down my property value. The more artisinal lemonade shops and Yupsters, the better. At the same time, I feel kinda weird because there's this sort of tacit recognition among neighbors that we've engaged in a collective business endeavor. It seems like everyone is more concerned about what they want the neighborhood to eventually become rather than what it already is. I always thought the whole point of moving into a neighborhood was that you liked the neighbors...not quietly hoping they'll one day be swept away by the forces of the free market.
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Old 10-01-2014, 01:20 PM
 
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Recent article on this topic:

Is Urban Revitalization Without Gentrification Possible? | The Dirt

Quote:
The solution seems to be more community empowerment from the bottom, and more thoughtful, respectful urban planning from the top....

Edwards said the key to revitalization without gentrification is “bringing residents and the community to the table often and at the beginning.” This kind of public planning process requires a great investment of time and resources by city governments, but without this investment, the only result may be inequitable, developer-led urban revitalization. “Cities have to form diverse, inclusive partnerships, foster openness, and collaborate on goals and outcomes.”
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Old 10-01-2014, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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In poor, depressed cities like Detroit where half of the housing stock is abandoned, I'd say yes.

In cities like NYC or LA, I'd say no.

The only thing you can really do is build as much housing as possible. One idea is that if you build more luxury housing in already gentrified areas, then you'll slow the spread of gentrification to poorer, more peripheral areas.

You could also build more "affordable" housing in premium neighborhoods so that Trustafarians aren't the only ones with easy walking access to work and public transit. But it can be difficult to build affordable housing in these neighborhoods. When the Catholic Church proposed building workforce housing in a gentrifying DC neighborhood, the neighbors protested. On a lot of the local urban planning/issues websites, there were nothing but comments like "They're killing our property values!" and "There goes the neighborhood (again)." The reality, it seems, is that upper middle class people really don't want poorer people near them, so a lot of the more affordable units get built in poor neighborhoods (usually with crappy transit access, poor amenities, etc.).
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Old 10-01-2014, 01:39 PM
46H
 
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Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Detroit certainly seems that way. On a regional level, it doesn't seem like the fundamentals are in place to spark a major wave of gentrification anytime soon.

It's funny, though, that it wasn't all that long ago that people said neighborhoods like Harlem would be undesirable FOREVER. In 1990, you could buy a brownstone for $80,000. Even Spike Lee said that when he bought his father's brownstone in Fort Greene, the most he thought he'd ever get for it would be around $300-$400K. The bad thing is that you get some people who probably could have purchased, but think the neighborhood will never change, and then don't. Then the next thing you know their rent has skyrocketed and they have to move on the next nearby, still crappy neighborhood.

Again, New York is different because the money has always been in the surrounding areas to create the perfect gentrification storm. However, I'm simply talking about perception, and the perception was that certain neighborhoods would always be garbage. Few people were scrambling to get a Clinton Hill brownstone in 1993.
NYC is completely whacked out for a few reasons. The first is rent stabilization/control. The second reason is more families (with kids) are staying in the city and not moving to the suburbs. The third is the huge demand to live in the city.


We have people holding onto RC/RS apts until they die no matter what their circumstances. Sometimes they can pass the apts to the heirs. This immediately makes the other 50% of the rental market a lot more expensive.

NYC has become much safer in the last 25 years. Couples without kids in the city are staying in the city to raise their kids. The public elementary schools in popular areas are crowded. This also eliminates turnover of apts in the city vs years ago when couples moved to the suburbs surrounding NYC when it was time to raise kids.

NYC also continues to be a mecca for many young people. NYC is not so intimidating anymore.

All these factors are pushing new renters and renters without big money onto neighborhoods that were once considered undesirable. I know some big money developers who have been buying property in these areas for years. Now they are making a killing.
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Old 10-01-2014, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Originally Posted by 46H View Post
NYC is completely whacked out for a few reasons. The first is rent stabilization/control. The second reason is more families (with kids) are staying in the city and not moving to the suburbs. The third is the huge demand to live in the city.


We have people holding onto RC/RS apts until they die no matter what their circumstances. Sometimes they can pass the apts to the heirs. This immediately makes the other 50% of the rental market a lot more expensive.

NYC has become much safer in the last 25 years. Couples without kids in the city are staying in the city to raise their kids. The public elementary schools in popular areas are crowded. This also eliminates turnover of apts in the city vs years ago when couples moved to the suburbs surrounding NYC when it was time to raise kids.

NYC also continues to be a mecca for many young people. NYC is not so intimidating anymore.

All these factors are pushing new renters and renters without big money onto neighborhoods that were once considered undesirable. I know some big money developers who have been buying property in these areas for years. Now they are making a killing.
Eh, I don't think rent control is a problem. In fact, I believe it to be a good thing. It's the only thing that keeps Manhattan from being 1,000% gentrified. The median rent for a 1-BR apartment in Greenwich Village was $3,495. It's not like eliminating all of the rent controlled units in NYC is going to knock that rent down to $1,800.

Mapping the Median Rents in New York City Neighborhoods - Cool Map Thing - Curbed NY
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Old 10-01-2014, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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How about this solution?

Quote:
So, faced with the prospect of turning market-rate Manhattan into the world’s largest ghetto of the rich in perpetuity, I propose transferring the whole thing to the public sector. This isn’t a painless tradeoff, of course. If housing units are no longer distributed according to who can pay the most, they’ll have to be distributed according to some other principle: probably, in an ideal world, just a wait list. In which case we’ll have a Scandanavian-type situation where people have to wait five or ten years to move to the Upper West Side. Locals and older folks would have serious advantages over domestic and international migrants and younger people. And of course that sort of thing would open itself to corruption, and so on. But I think that’s probably still preferable to allowing such massive segregation of privilege.
Nationalize Manhattan | City Notes
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Old 10-01-2014, 02:29 PM
46H
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Eh, I don't think rent control is a problem. In fact, I believe it to be a good thing. It's the only thing that keeps Manhattan from being 1,000% gentrified. The median rent for a 1-BR apartment in Greenwich Village was $3,495. It's not like eliminating all of the rent controlled units in NYC is going to knock that rent down to $1,800.

Mapping the Median Rents in New York City Neighborhoods - Cool Map Thing - Curbed NY
So because somebody lucked out nobody else can afford to move into Manhattan? 50% of the apts are off the market. The $3495 rent you mention is the going rate unless you get very lucky. How is that helping keep things "ungentrified"?

Most people living in RC/RS apts are not poor. I would guess many are middle class and above. I know quite a few people who have been in these apts for over 25 years. Most have a second home in a vacation area purchased on the ridiculously low rents they have been paying plus no heat bill plus no electric bill .plus no water bill plus never buying an appliance plus never calling a plumber or electrician plus they have a right to a lease renewal. They essentially own somebody else's apt without the headache of ownership.

It is the biggest handout in NYC and it is not limited to the lower incomes.
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Old 10-01-2014, 03:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Is it?



Jeremiah's Vanishing New York: On Spike Lee & Hyper-Gentrification, the Monster That Ate New York

What's most amazing to me is not so much the physical and demographic changes in neighborhoods, but the cultural segregation that tends to come along with those changes. If you were of an upper middle class profession in 1980, I suppose you shopped at an Acme, Pathmark, Star Market, Safeway, Piggly Wiggly or any of the other chain grocers the rest of the masses shopped at. Sure, you have upper middle class people who still shop at those stores today, but now you've got the Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and other stores that cater specifically to that demographic. IMO, Manhattanites (and some Brooklynites) are culturally removed from the rest of the city in a way that Manhattanites of the past were not. And that's a big difference.
I argue that gentrification is normal, but only becomes apparent and problematic when local and/or regional supplies and demands diverge. When new supply is limited--by geography, but more likely by policy choices--and a richer subset of the population is growing in quantity, we are going to see the poor/er displaced by the wealthy/ier. When the wealth gap is large enough (or, media-worthy enough) then that displacement becomes the big, bad bogeyman of gentrification.
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