Crown Heights Has Changed Dramatically in Only Two Years

eastern parkway townhouses crown heights

A story in The New York Times over the weekend described the rapid gentrification and changes happening in Crown Heights, as longtime residents and businesses move out and are replaced by newcomers. Many businesses have moved to Flatbush, and residents typically move to Flatbush, East New York and Brownsville, according to the story.

Developers such as Realty Within Reach, Hello Living and Brookland Capital, of course, discovered the neighborhood a few years ago, and “more than 1,250 units in about two dozen residential projects” are in the works, mostly west of Nostrand and north of Eastern Parkway, according to the story. While very few are “affordable,” Brookland Capital’s Boaz Gilad explains the appeal of a condo:

“Most of our buyers are people in their late 20s and early 30s who live in the neighborhood already, paying, say, $2,400 a month in a free-market building,” he told the Times. “With an F.H.A. loan or some help from parents or money they’ve saved, the cost of buying the apartment will be maybe $2,600 or $2,700 a month. So there will be no change in monthly costs, but they’re going to own an asset.”

Families priced out of Park Slope, Prospect Heights and Carroll Gardens are looking for condos and townhouses in the $1,200,000 to $1,500,000 range, he said.

Coming on the market in the next few weeks are rentals at 341 Eastern Parkway, with studios starting at $2,200. Marketing at Brookland Capital’s condo building at 954 Bergen Street will start in September.

Condo and land prices have about doubled in two years, from $100 or $100 a buildable square foot to $220 or $240, said the story. Rents have not quite doubled but a one-bedroom has gone from about $1,500 in 2008 to $1,800 to $2,600 a month.

An initial wave of “young, single students and professionals” is now giving way to “a second, more affluent, wave of professionals and families.” One renter in a rent stabilized apartment who grew up in the neighborhood said she appreciates lower crime rates and more policing but misses her friends, all of whom have left. What do you think of the changes?

Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Gets Its Turn [NY Times]

11 Comment

  • 2 years? Where has the NYT been?

  • Brooklynian has been covering the change for almost 9 years. The changes haven’t been as fast as this article makes them out to be.

    …maybe it is only measuring fancy bars.

  • It seems that NYT articles of the past year that highlight Brooklyn neighborhoods and the gentrification that has occurred always seem to ignore the previous decades changes.. reduced crime, increasing rents etc.

    Yes the past 2 years have seen significant increases in sale prices and rents but huge swaths of the city, not just brownstone brooklyn, are experiencing this.

    These Brooklyn gentrification pieces just seem to be fluff / filler that are rehashed every few weeks. Like the articles that feature late 30 early 40 something parents with 2 kids that just moved or relocated to brooklyn and installed a modern glass addition to the back of their brownstone.

  • You’d think Crown Heights only consisted of the riots and Franklin Avenue. Ironic, considering the riots did not take place anywhere near Franklin Avenue. Crown Heights, like Bedford Stuyvesant, is a very large neighborhood, and its parts all have a very distinct flavor to them, one quite different from the next. The Times seems to think that the Franklin Ave corrider and surrounding blocks are all there is to the neighborhood, as far as worthy real estate goes. All of their articles in the last few years always concentrate their efforts here. Yet the blocks east of Bedford over to Kingston contain some of the finest residential, religious and civic architecture found anywhere in Brooklyn. People are literally in awe when I show them some of the fine blocks in CHN. The changes there are as monumental as over on Franklin, but I guess a lack of new condo buildings means nothing is happening. Au contraire.


    I wish the pace had been slower. It’s inevitable that neighborhoods change, but I don’t think we’ve ever seen the rapid changes that have turned large parts of Bed Stuy, Crown Heights North and Bushwick from supposedly scary, and unwanted inner city neighborhoods, to posh hip and happening “frontiers’ happen so fast. It took Park Slope at least 20 years. It’s taking these neighborhoods five. What happens to those caught in front of the tsunami?

    • Actually, the changes into “scary and unwanted” neighborhoods happened pretty quickly too. E.g.:

      According to the New York Times, “In a five-year period in the late 1960’s and early 70’s, the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn was transformed from a neatly maintained community of wood houses into what often approached a no man’s land of abandoned buildings, empty lots, drugs and arson.”

    • This is why our Crown Heights North tours are very important to educate people on this wonderful neighborhood. I do not think we talk about the riots or Franklin Ave once in those two hours. Crown Heights has awesome, people and yes architecture. The overall vibe of CHN is great and you would need more than a page or two to talk about this neighborhood.

  • As a result of Prospect Heights’ change, a lot of the young families buying brownstones and condos ended up staying in the area, and enrolling their kids in the local public schools. PS 9 is now very sought after.

    In a few years, the schools in Crown Heights will feel a similar impact. As Montrose points out, this change can be readily seen (even by those with an untrained eye) as far east as Kingston.

  • This article is extremely irresponsible on so many levels.
    First it seems that it is based on press releases from the developers that have already got their inventory lined up and ready to go, now they need to bring the buyers their way.
    Then the NY Times just “trying” to look neutral adds in the race riots, because after all they cannot ever write an article about Crown Heights without including that as if nothing else has ever happened in Crown Heights. Even though it was fueled by outside media and others political agendas at the time.
    But it is particularly inflammatory when they talk about who is moving in and who is moving out in blatantly racial terms. (Which is wrong from my observations) Condo buyers are not an indication of the whole neighborhood, for the most part condo buyers are mislead by this kind of hype.
    I wish the NY Times or some other major media would point out the real problems with buying a Condo in a new development, especially in emerging neighborhoods: the lemons, the bad construction that cannot and do not get corrected and ten years out or sooner, are un- salable with crumbling infrastructure, or the amount of these $300,000- $900,000 condos that end up as rentals bought by investors, so again the sucker home owners that bought in cannot re-sell because banks will not finance the re-sale when there are not enough owner occupants in the building and there is no way to force owner occupancy needed as there is in a Co-Op. This will ultimately destroy these neighborhoods. There are already Condo’s in Fort Greene, Clinton Hill and Williamsburg that are caught up in this mess.
    Irresponsible Condo Development is not good for neighborhoods. FHA financing takes out the only stop gap a condo board has; the right of first refusal, to control who buys in; innocent home owners, speculators or vulture investors can easily buy into these buildings and they are a free fall to vulture investors.
    Private Co-Ops are a better system for accountable responsible home ownership.

  • I dunno, I have friends who are long-time residents in the Franklin Ave area, and while it’s not like things began changing 2 years ago, I’d say the changes have been extra dramatic in the last, say, 4-5 years. Pre-2010, the NYT was covering Vanderbilt as the new hot spot:

  • Same was said about Crumbs 2009-2011.