NY Times Looks at Bed Stuy


Hot on the heels of the New York Times’ story about real estate and gentrification in Crown Heights comes a look at Bed Stuy, where whites have become a noticeable presence and prices of town houses have soared in the last year.

The story notes that gentrification started at least as far back as the 1990s, when a wave of African-American professionals started moving into the area. (It doesn’t mention residents and community groups such as Brownstoners of Bed Stuy, who have been working on improving the area since at least the 1970s.) It also quotes the now-familiar census numbers, which show whites moving in and blacks moving out, although it doesn’t mention that a significant portion of the whites, at least when the numbers were collected, are Hasids, not hipsters or yuppies.

We have a few quibbles: Prices quoted by agents, especially for rentals, seem high. (The story says one-bedroom apartments rent for $1,800 to $2,500 a month.) And we’re wondering if this is a mistake: “Until recently, most of the townhouse buyers have been investors.” As in other neighborhoods, the vast majority of row houses are owned by occupants who also rent out a floor or two.

Of course, the main draw is the architecture. What do you think of the story?

Bedford-Stuyvesant: Diverse and Changing [NY Times]

14 Comment

  • Isn’t an article on Bed Stuy a weekly feature in the NYTimes at this point?

  • Of course, what the article skates over is that the racial change in the neighborhood (at least as of 2010, which is the date it uses) is heavily driven by population growth (and much less by displacement) in two census tracts in the far northwest corner of the neighborhood:
    1237 — Between Flushing, Classon, Myrtle, and Nostrand
    235 — Between Myrtle, Classon, DeKalb, and Bedford.

    Of the 8,300 growth in population in all of Bedford Stuyvesant, these two tracts supplied 6,145 new residents (growing from 3,791 to 9,936). The growth in these tracts was almost all white: from 252 white residents to 6,807 white residents. (This of course also shows there was some displacement in these two tracts, as black and Hispanic population decreased by about 700 from from 3370 to 2675.)

    Another way to think about it is that according to the 2010 census, Bed Stuy had over 16,000 white residents, of whom 43% lived in those two census tracts. It’s a very different picture from the “gentrifier” picture painted sometimes. The four census tracts that surround Saraghina (i.e., the blocks between Putnam, Throop, Fulton, and Lewis) were all 5-6% white and 89-91% black or Hispanic.

    • wonder how much of the growth in that first tract is due to increased density in the Hasidic community.

      • A quick street view will tell you that the growth in that area is 100% Hasids.

        And, although the white population in Stuy Heights was still low in 2010, the numbers had dramatically increased from 2000 (up 500-1,000% in most tracts, from basically 0 to 5-10%), and that’s all gentrification. Obviously numbers are higher now as well as that continues.

  • Personally, I agree that the stories are very much redundant at this point, but I have no problem with the neighborhood getting more shine. The hard work of old timers and diversity of the new comers should be celebrated weekly. Just my humble opinion.

  • Reality is that most homes are sold either to investors or (white) buyers. And then, the buyers are filling their rentals with mainly white tenants. Yes Hasids are moving to Bed Stuy (with proximity to Williamsburg) but in general, African American population is moving further out to East NY and other areas while white population is moving into Bed Stuy from places such as Manhattan, Fort Greene, Park Slope and others that are no longer affordable for many people.

  • Most of Bed Stuy is still a terrible neighborhood. Sorry, but that is just true. Dont get the hype at all.

    • bhinsider,
      ….a terrible neighborhood where you can’t find a decent brownstone below $2M :)
      Anyways, I don’t think it is terrible at all; people that think so most likely haven’t been there since the 70’s. People used to say Fort Greene was a terrible place only 5 yrs ago and look at it now; homes are selling upward of $4M.

      • even though i disagree that bed stuy is a terrible neighborhood – trotting out home sale prices – especially when many of those are bought by investment firms to flip – is kinda obtuse.

    • Rubbish. Since I don’t have the time or inclination to give you an education, I’ll just leave it as rubbish. You haven’t got a clue. Riding through on your way to the airport does not a neighborhood make.

    • I’m apologize for bhinsider, what he meant to say was there is still black people living there.

  • Brooklyn bomber: no apology from you is needed. Bhinsider has a good point. Crime is still an issue here and the color is irrelevant to people who are reasonable. Quit the race baiting crap and start considering what it takes to move forward and better everyone’s life.

    BHinsider: get a clue. Beyond the noise of gentrification the core of the neighborhood ( most of, not all) is great housing stock. Like real estate, they don’t make 100 year old brownstones anymore. Transportation time to the city is reasonable. Places like Park Slope and Williamsburg were once rough around the edges too. New York is its own special animal. Bed Stuy needs to get safer but it is a great place to live. Try thinking with your head not your ass.