Image: Clover Grocery via Facebook.
There was a time not too long ago when New Yorkers began to resent the apparent gentrification of local bodegas, which had begun carrying high-priced, healthy food items sought by new neighborhood residents. Chain convenience stores like 7-11 were yet another blow to the concept of the quirky corner deli. And then, of course, there was the Whole Foods effect. The latest development in the ascent of the local grocery store is even more difficult to grok: The “wellness bodega” has arrived. As Eater reports, mini-markets–like Clover Grocery in Manhattan’s West Village–in metro areas like NYC and LA are stocking items like $18 “vegan friendly” condoms and marine collagen supplements–and confusing the daylights out of ordinary city folk.
And a WeWork market, of course
Toby’s Estate cafe and roastery on North 6th Street. Photo by James and Karla Murray exclusively for 6sqft.
It started with Bedford Avenue. Whether you called it Williamsburg 3.0 or the New Brooklyn or any number of monikers signifying the North Brooklyn neighborhood’s ascent to the international hall of coolest–and priciest–neighborhood fame, that avenue was its anchor. A Whole Foods and an Apple store soon followed. And, inevitably, as businesses flocked to the surrounding streets, the clear hegemony of Bedford began to become less evident even if its tourist population continued to grow. Now, the New York Post hails North Sixth Street, longtime home of anchor condo The Edge and more recently a growing host of retail chain shops, as the top contender.
The new 34th Street?
While tenant displacement is happening in every New York City borough, the reason behind it differs from neighborhood to neighborhood. An updated, interactive map from the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development (ANHD) looks at the loss of rent-regulated housing, property sales, construction permits, and evictions across the city’s 763,000 residential properties as a way to determine the risk of residential displacement in every NYC community (h/t Curbed NY).
Explore the map
Inwood Hill Park; Image: Dana via Flickr.
On Wednesday the City Council approved a rezoning plan for a 59-block section of Inwood, a neighbhorhood often referred to as the “last affordable neighborhood in Manhattan,” the New York Times reports. The plan was approved last week by the city’s zoning subcommittee and the Land Use Committee. The Inwood rezoning is part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to rezone neighborhoods across the city as part of the push to create and preserve 300,000 affordable housing units by his goal date of 2026. Inwood is the fifth neighborhood–including the also-controversial East New York and East Harlem–to be approved for rezoning under the plan.
Find out more
Photo of the new Bed-Stuy location, courtesy of Starbucks
Starbucks has been all over the map, not only geographically but symbolically. Reactions to a new Starbucks often range from being a welcome addition by caffeine-deprived people to being the face of a large corporation that is a lightning rod for gentrification, threatening mom and pop shops. With 14,163 Starbucks in the US, what street corner doesn’t have a Starbucks? Well, the Bedford-Stuyvesant community didn’t, until now. A Starbucks just took over the location of shuttered local department store, Fat Albert. Is this another example of the big, faceless corporation blazing its way into a community that doesn’t want it?
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Background image via Andrew Malone/Flickr
When it comes to the Chelsea Hotel, Ed Hamilton has seen it all. He and his wife moved to the iconic property in 1995, living among artists and musicians in a 220-square-foot, single-room-occupancy unit. The storied, artistic community nurtured inside the hotel came to an end a decade ago when the building sold for the first time and evictions followed. Since then, the property has traded hands a number of times with talks of boutique hotel development, luxury condos, or some combination of the two. Hamilton started tracking the saga at his blog Living With Legends and published a book, “Legends of the Chelsea Hotel,” in 2007.
After the book’s success, Hamilton wrote a short story collection titled “The Chintz Age: Stories of Love and Loss for a new New York.” Each piece offers a different take on New York’s “hyper gentrification,” as he calls it: a mother unable to afford her lofty East Village apartment, giving it up to a daughter she shares a strained relationship with; a book store owner who confronts his failed writing career as a landlord forces him out of now highly valuable commercial space.
Ultimately, many of the stories were inspired by the characters he met inside the Chelsea Hotel. And his tales offer a new perspective on a changing city, one that focuses on “the personal, day-to-day struggles about the people who are trying to hang onto their place in New York.” With 6sqft, he shares what it’s like writing in the under-construction Chelsea Hotel, what the Chintz Age title means, and the unchanged spots of the city he still treasures.
Governor Cuomo announced a $1.4 billion initiative last week to bring resources like health care services and new jobs to Central Brooklyn. According to the governor, the plan, called “Vital Brooklyn,” will bring 7,600 jobs and more than 3,000 new affordable housing units to Brownsville, East New York, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights. And while Cuomo’s administration found these neighborhoods to be some of the most disadvantaged in the state, residents worry about the possible gentrification and displacement effects (h/t NY Times).
Learn more about Vital Brooklyn here
Watchdog group Inside Airbnb released a new report, which shows that across 72 predominantly African-American neighborhoods in New York City, 74 percent of Airbnb hosts are white–a startling figure considering only 14 percent of the total population in these areas is white. As outlined in the Daily News, these white hosts earned $160 million from Airbnb rentals, compared to just $48 million for black hosts.
Which neighborhoods are most affected
We’ve definitely seen a lifetime’s worth of the trajectory that runs from warehouse to art studio to luxury loft, starting with neighborhoods like Soho and picking up speed as developers got into the act, anticipating the next “it” enclave with manageable rents attracting the young and creative. A team of New York-based designers developed a proposal for reaping the benefits of economic growth in the city’s industrial areas without pricing out all but the wealthiest players. Soft City reports the details of this “mission-driven gentrification” concept, which suggests an all-new development model for the city’s manufacturing neighborhoods (known as M1 districts), helmed by mission-based organizations and a building typology that caters to small businesses and artists.
Bright ideas, this way
By now, we’re all well aware that New York City is changing, becoming ever more expensive and far less friendly to its middle and low-income inhabitants. But here’s a new interactive map from the Citizens Housing and Planning Council (CHPC) that offers us a snapshot view of how upper-income New Yorkers (the majority of whom are white, to be sure) have multiplied throughout the boroughs between 2000 and 2010 to alter the face of the city’s demographics.