Not all Franklin Avenue-area residents are happy about the influx of new businesses and residents to the Franklin Avenue area, according to a story earlier this week in the New York Times.
Twenty years ago Franklin Avenue was rampant with drugs and violence, but today, the street is home to bar, Mexican street food and ice cream parlor, to name a few openings of the past year.
But the Times says that not all of the old residents are happy about the change, feeling that they may soon be priced out of their homes (there has been a 36 percent rise in rent for an average one-bedroom in Crown Heights this year, a local real estate agent told the paper). Business owners like Conrad Hunter, who runs JamRock Kitchen, says that the influx of new residents hasn’t increased his sales at all, according to the report.
“I look at all these newcomers and these new businesses on Franklin Avenue and I think they are jumping on a bandwagon,” Tony Fisher, of Bob and Betty’s grocery, told the paper. “Where were they 25 years ago?”
Over the summer, the Wall Street Journal saying that new residents were lured in by cheap, historic brownstones and the recently opened restaurants and bars. Even the lauded Park Slope restaurant Al Di Là with Bar Corvo.
Last month, I Love Franklin Ave. blogger Nick Juravich declaring that sensational terms like “gentrification” were simplifying the complexities of neighborhood change, and that Crown Heights has maintained a thriving immigrant community and several community groups have made serious change.
(Here’s what Juravich has to say about the Times piece on his blog.)
What do you think about the future of Crown Heights? Can the neighborhood keeps its history and diversity amidst a rush of newcomers?