Daily News Asks If East New York Is the “Next Home Buying Frontier”

504 georgia avenue east new york 12014

The two-family in East New York priced at $599,999 that was yesterday’s HOTD, above, also inspired The New York Daily News to take a look at East New York and whether it could be Brooklyn’s next “home buying frontier,” as the Brooklyn section teaser headline put it. “Spacious, affordable” properties there such as the one at 504 Georgia Avenue could lure buyers priced out of rapidly appreciating neighborhoods such as Crown Heights, Bed Stuy and Bushwick. “However, crime in the area remains a concern,” the story continued.

Listing agent Louis Belisario of Fillmore told the Daily News the area is good for investors because of its relative affordability and skyrocketing rents. “Rates are very low and rents here are going through the roof. It’s a great house because if you bought it, your rental income would cover most of your mortgage,” he said.

As other reports have shown, the area has seen an influx of renters priced out from other areas of Brooklyn. Violent crime in the area decreased last year, but “robbery, grand larceny and general assault” were all up.

Councilwoman Inez Barron (married to former Councilman Charles Barron) said keeping East New York affordable for current residents is a priority. She also noted the waves of newcomers moving in and said the area “has the greatest retention and growth of people moving into the community. We’re getting a grip on crime. Crime is going down.”

Commenters have previously said the area’s large number of public housing projects makes it an unlikely candidate for gentrification. What’s your opinion?

East New York: The Next Home Buying Frontier? [NY Daily News]

16 Comment

  • There’s no question that those value-oriented and dead-set on buying a house in brooklyn, will search in neighborhoods they hadn’t previously considered. I have a couple of friends who are looking, by Bway Junction. I think that area is really the next value hotspot, aka Southernmost Bushwick, Ocean Hill, East Crown Heights / Northern Brownsville, NW E NY, Cypress Hills.

    The more interesting question for me is, how many artists will live AND work there? When artists don’t move, but yuppies do, you get a creepy kind of Crown Heights vibe… I guess there’s no risk of yuppies moving to these neighborhoods though. Hmm.

  • In a simple answer to your question, I say “Yes.” It’s inevitable. I think those parts of ENY that have easy access to subway lines and blocks of older, architecturally interesting homes will soon see prices rise and an influx of new people. I think Cypress Hills will go first, because there is great housing stock there. Plus, it’s next door to Bushwick. A great deal of the rest of ENY is full of blocks of early 20th century housing like the one above. They aren’t 19th century brownstones, but they are still well-built older homes with some character, and will be quite attractive to new buyers if the price is right. There are also blocks of traditional row houses, both frame and masonry. ENY on the whole has quite a varied housing stock, and was, since its inception, home to middle class folk.

    Of course, the neighborhood’s bad reputation for crime, housing projects, and minority poor people will take large swaths of the neighborhood out of consideration for many, at least until the better parts cease to be affordable. But look for the NY Times to focus on a handful of “urban pioneers” who bought cheap and have great houses or apartments, with backyard gardens, and have found their new neighbors to be warm and welcoming people. And there will be someone who opens the first coffee bar/ organic lunch counter. It will be Bed Stuy and Crown Heights all over again.

    Am I happy about this? No. Like the glaciers of old, people of lesser incomes and means are being pushed to the sea. Does anyone care about what happens to them, or is money the only thing that matters? Of course, the schools will suck, and we’ll get complaints about that too. But the schools suck now. Is it fair or right that the kids who have to go to them NOW are not getting a good education, or does it only matter when a neighborhood gentrifies?

    It wasn’t all that long ago when 100 plus comments would rage on Brownstoner about how dangerous it was for gentrifiers to live in Bed Stuy or Crown Heights or Bushwick or even Prospect Lefferts Gardens. You don’t see that now, you only see price records in those neighborhoods being broken. Sadly, it’s inevitable that East New York will be next.

    • I think your right about Cypress Hills. I think that area has good housing stock and transportation…

    • ” Like the glaciers of old, people of lesser incomes and means are being pushed to the sea”
      More likely to the Long Island suburbs.

      Back in the ’70s I read predictions that the “brownstone revival” and “back-to-the-city movement” would lead to wealthy inner cities, surrounded by rings of low-income suburbs, on the European model. I must admit that, back then, I naively thought this sounded just great, probably out of a sense of schadenfreude over the thought of eventually proving wrong the many relatives and co-workers who lived in the ‘burbs and derided our decision to buy a city house. I’ve long-since changed my opinion about the desirability of this sort of displacement, but it just might be an inexorable trend.

  • The thing is, while maybe eventually it becomes the “Next Home Buying Frontier”, it isn’t happening anytime soon. East NY has the highest violent crime in Brooklyn and the most murders. 12 housing projects are there, there’s Brownsville and a lot of gangs..

    • Yes Brownsville borders the neighborhood but it’s on the Southwest end, the areas most likely to change first are Cypress Hills and Cityline which have no housing projects and have the A, C and J train and is basically where the housing stock newcomers look for exists. Once you get to the other side of Linden there isn’t much. most of the housing projects sit along Linden Blvd. a good distance away from the trains, which is where most of the crime happens. Gangs/violence exist in Bed-Stuy, Bushwick and Crown Heights but it hasn’t stopped anyone from moving there. Brownsville doesn’t really affect the area north of Sutter ave. since it’s not easy to get to (no direct train), you either have to walk a bit or take buses to get there. Even the north west end of the borderline is nothing but Warehouses and Bus depots with the L train making a barrier. People always lump us together but it’s not one smooth transition between the neighborhoods.

  • It will happen. MM does a good job of describing the ENY landscape. It’s pretty large, with an area that runs from Broadway Junction out to Spring Creek and beyond. Fewer housing projects than Brownsville, but then again there are project everywhere in the city. Strong transportation access in certain parts, like Bway Junction and the New Lots corridor (where the house above is located). ENY also has a great low-scale feel with lots of sky visible (unlike other parts of the city and even brownstone Brooklyn). There are some really nice blocks, and varied housing stock as MM mentions. It’s true crime is high compared with some other parts of the city. As a native, I know things can happen and stay alert, but don’t feel necessarily unsafe. ENY is also a good place to live if you work in Queens of JFK or are a city worker. Lots of those sorts of folks here. Gentrification is inevitable, and the rise in rents is an unfortunate harbinger of that.

  • Lots of nice brick, four family homes in East New York; an investor can’t go wrong by purchasing in this neighborhood;lots of Caribbean , working folks. I’ve worked in a school in the area for years. There’s crime, just like we had in Crown Heights, Prospect Heights in the 80’s, when I worked in those neighborhoods. It’s close to transportation. Give it time it will change as well.

  • We recently bought a small Victorian in Cypress Hills. We started our housing search in Crown Heights/Bed-Stuy/Lefferts Gardens/Bushwick and quickly realized that we were priced out. Anything that was even close to our price range would have required a total renovation. So, we started looking in East Flatbush and Cypress Hills. Between the two, the decision about which neighborhood to focus on was easy. Cypress Hills has a charm to it that East Flatbush lacks (for us).

    Cypress Hills is a large neighborhood that lies both to the south and north of Atlantic Avenue. I am specifically talking about the section that lies north of Atlantic Avenue to Jamaica Avenue (a short 4 blocks). The north end of this area is bordered by Highland Park, Ridgewood Reservoir and a stretch of cemeteries. The green space (I swear the air is fresher here) is accessible and wonderful (no big parks in Bed-Stuy). In addition, Forest Park is a mile down Jamaica Avenue. It is also quiet – I remember the first time I heard a siren here after moving in – I thought, wow, I haven’t heard that sound in weeks (I heard it about 5 times a day at least at our apartment in east Bed-Stuy). The house we found was in decent condition and was obviously loved by the family who owned it. A number of houses around here are double-lots. There are Victorians (some really big, like on Arlington by the public library), row-houses, limestones…many detached houses of all kinds. I think this contributes to the visibility of the sky that someone mentioned above.

    The ride on the J train is decent. From it, the neighborhood looks like a little hamlet, hugged by the “ridge” of Ridgewood Reservoir to the north. There is a great Mexican bakery, a papusa place and several Dominican restaurants. The availability of good quality fresh food is pretty poor, though a farmer’s market runs from July-November (it is run by local kids). This section of the neighborhood seems to be pretty solidly working class. Stats say that there are more renters than home-owners.

    We wanted to be close to friends, who nearly all live in Brooklyn. Cypress Hills won us!

    • Congrats eeomaker! We just bought a house in Cypress Hills as well! Glad to hear you are liking the neighborhood. For us Highland Park was the biggest draw, the Ridgewood Reservoir is shockingly beautiful. I will feel very lucky to live close to so much green space, something very hard to do in NYC. Much like you, Cypress Hills was in our budget and our family and friends are nearby, it made a lot of sense for many reasons. Over all the area seems quiet, with some problem pockets I assume you start to understand when you are there. How have you felt about commuting or coming home later at night? Do you feel secure to walk the streets? Also, I know the pupusa place, but where is the Mexican Bakery? :)

      • Grew up in Cypress Hills ENY across from Park. How are you enjoying it? Where do you do your food shopping?

      • Congrats on your new place and welcome to the neighborhood! I have felt completely safe at night in this section. The previous owners of our house raised two girls here over nearly 20 years and never had any problems. El Faro is the bakery. They have tortas, tacos, daily specials and a special Mexican take on the cheese croissant. Their bake goods are sugary, but fresh and in the middle of moving, that counts for alot. Also, the enchiladas from Crescent Street Coffee shop (east of the the Dunkin Donuts on Fulton) are yummy – super fresh and spicy green salsa.

        • Thanks! I am a little farther east by highland park and the cleveland stop. I think it’s a bit quieter over there as far as shops go, but will definitely check out the places you suggested! Nice to hear you have been feeling secure. We will be headed to CH in a few weeks, excited to start this new chapter in our lives! Looking forward to all the green space and the YMCA for sure. BTW Marcorix on Jamaica is good too! :)

  • The fastest growing areas of poverty in America are suburbs…the shift is on. The population of this city is growing, and unlike us old Brooklyn heads, these folks don’t have the same view of certain neighborhoods and are infinitely more willing to give affordable neighborhoods close to transportation a try. Salaries remain stagnant, so there will be a substantial need for affordable housing.