Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Red Hook Hype = Red Hook Gentrification?


Gowanus Lounge got an email from Portside New York Director Carolina Salguero after our appearance last week on The Brian Lehrer Show. Carolina had called in during the show and wrote that she never got to make her key point about Red Hook, which is that "the hype is threatening the hyped goods." We thought we'd include it here because the point is very valid. Rents have been shooting up in The Hook since stories starting appearing about how "hot" Red Hook is, and it's putting the squeeze on artists and others who'd taken refuge in the neighborhood because it was still relatively affordable. The entry at portsidenewyork says, in part:
The hyping of the neighborhood may threaten the features much touted (new hip venues and artists). What she would have said, if she could sound bite better, was that artists have begun moving out, and the pace of new storefronts on Van Brunt has slowed the past year, most likely due to high rents. Barbara Corcoran announced in the New York Times last April that she'd pay for her new $1.075 million Van Brunt building with rents that included $2,000 for a 600 square foot store. Asking prices for storefronts rose immediately. Her storefront remains empty.
As do many others, no doubt because there is no way that businesses can cover the new "hot Red Hook" rents with what remains a modest level of traffic.


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