A story in the Times today has some data to back up what we’ve been seeing and experiencing anecdotally. As rents and home prices rise in Brooklyn, the well-to-do are moving into the city and the poor are fleeing to the suburbs, reversing a trend that has held since the mid-20th century. The number of poor people declined by 11 percent in Brooklyn and 10 percent in Manhattan, and increased 14 percent in the suburbs, or 100,000, from 2000 through 2010. “Poor” is defined as a family of four making less than $23,350 a year. The analysis is from the Metropolitan Policy Program of the Brookings Institution. The first ten years of the 21st century were the tipping point, according to the study. The reasons? Higher housing costs, which “pushed poorer people out of Manhattan and Brooklyn, in particular,” said the story. Also, immigrants are now settling in the suburbs, where costs are lower and jobs pay less. Meanwhile, the number of poor households in Staten Island rose 18 percent.
Suburbs’ Share of Poor Has Grown Since 2000 [NY Times]
Now there is no money in the state budget for SUNY Downstate, the Central Brooklyn parent of Cobble Hill’s Long Island College Hospital, which SUNY Downstate officials just last week voted to shutter. “The state’s new budget — which the Senate began adopting Sunday — contains no new funds for the ailing Brooklyn hospital…SUNY officials…must submit a restructuring plan for the hospital by June,” said The New York Daily News. SUNY Downstate, located in East Flatbush, is the only academic medical center in Brooklyn and the borough’s fourth largest employer. SUNY Downstate is just the latest of Brooklyn medical centers to experience financial difficulties recently: Also troubled are Interfaith Medical Center in Bed Stuy and Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in Bushwick. Meanwhile, the Daily News reports, developers are salivating to get their hands on the prime Cobble Hill waterfront site currently occupied by SUNY Downstate’s Long Island College Hospital, and SUNY officials admitted real estate played a role in their decision to sell off the property. What do you think is ailing Brooklyn’s hospitals, and will we have enough to support the growing number of Brooklyn residents?
State Nixes Bailout for Ailing SUNY Brooklyn Hospital [NY Daily News]
Developers Licking Chop Over Cobble Hill’s LICH Site [NY Daily News]
Photo by Jim.henderson via Wikimedia Commons
Brooklyn is now so popular that its population is growing at a rate of 2.4 percent, more than any other New York City borough, according to Real Estate Weekly. If the growth continues at that pace, Brooklyn will overtake Chicago as the third largest city (if it were a separate city) sometime in the next 12 years. Then again, Chicago is growing at the slowest rate of all the large metro areas in the U.S., according to the Census. “For the first time since before 1950, more people are coming to New York City than leaving,” said Mayor Bloomberg. Demand is causing real estate prices to boom, and in turn, new construction may be helping to draw new residents into the borough. “In 2012, investment sales were $4 billion, a 106 percent jump over the year prior…The dollar value for commercial transactional jumped 383 percent from 2011, while office product rose 314 percent,” said the story. Meanwhile, as readers of this blog already know, “apartment prices in prime Brooklyn neighborhoods are now fast approaching $1,000 per square foot, comparable in cost to Manhattan.” (more…)
A new report ranks Bay Ridge as the best Brooklyn neighborhood in which to raise children, said The New York Daily News. Bay Ridge scored high, coming in fourth citywide, because of its high rate of home ownership, good schools, and parents with stable jobs. Park Slope, meanwhile, was ranked 15th citywide because of its mixed community of poor residents living side by side with wealthy ones, according to the paper. The group that authored the report, the Citizens’ Committee for Children, evaluated neighborhoods based on four factors: Economic, Health, Youth and Housing. Bay Ridge scored high on key youth factors such as the percentage of high school dropouts, employment, birth rate, and arrest rate among teens. Click here for more info about the report findings (the full report costs $50). Unfortunately, recent improvements in education may be mostly a factor of more wealthy people moving into Brooklyn, and applicable mostly to them, if we read the Committee’s comments correctly. “For example, while the city has seen improvements in education trends in recent years, such as increased reading and math scores, higher graduation rates, and fewer dropouts, the results are not as positive among racial/ethnic groups and across neighborhood school districts,” the group said. Do you agree with the report’s findings? Where would you rather live?
Report: Bay Ridge Best Nabe to Bring up Children [NY Daily News]
A new report out digs not only into rental trends in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, but also looks at employment trends as well. Since the kinds of jobs and the level of compensation employees receive is fundamental to how much people can afford to pay for rent, this analysis may provide a bit more insight than the simple rents are up or rents are down number crunching. The Mid-Year Triboro Rental Report from StreetEasy and leasing and tenant screening firm On-Site.com, authored by real estate consultant Nancy Packes, finds that some of the larger employment trends favor the outer boroughs’ more economical rents. The share of financial services employees in the city has been falling for years. In 2006, 58 percent of new renters worked in financial services, according to the report, but that fell to 44 percent in 2012. At the same time, the number of new renters employed by tech firms and the broad category of creative jobs has grown from 16 percent to 26 percent. And these people earn less than those in financial services. With less money to spend, these people are looking away from Manhattan in ever greater numbers. As a result, Manhattan rents have seen sluggish growth. Rents in Brooklyn, on the other hand, have been on the rise (though other reports have found slow growth here in recent quarters too). This report, which only examines rents through the first half of 2012, found that rents on studios in buildings with a doorman were up 16 percent over the previous year. Two-bedrooms in doorman buildings were up 22 percent in the year. And, the report concludes, there is plenty of room for rents to go even higher. “Looking at a renter’s ability to spend, there appears to be further capacity to push rents. Why? Over the last five years, salaries have not decreased, yet today’s income spent toward rent rests at its five-year average, having dropped 20% perent from its 2007 peak.” And it’s the creatives who spend the highest proportion of their incomes on rent.
Creative Workers Drive Down Rents [WSJ]
City Tech’s brand-new build is actually happening! The old Klitgord Building at 285 Jay Street, on the corner of Tillary Street, is closed and construction crews have started up with interior demolition. The school also filed an application with the Department of Buildings for a new eight-story build, although it looks like the DOB disapproved the plans this month. The architect on record is Perkins Eastman, an international planning, design and consulting firm that has worked on many campuses before. The rendering above comes from this Brooklyn Eagle article published this fall. Back then, they reported that the eight-story build would be 149 feet tall with 356,389 square feet of academic, community and facility space. The building will hold new facilities for the science and clinical health programs, a new theater, a wellness center and athletic facilities. The long-ago plans for a huge residential/educational tower built at the site by Forest City Ratner and City Tech never came through.
Construction to Begin Soon on City Tech’s New Klitgord Building [BK Eagle] GMAP
The latest proposed redistricting plan for the Brooklyn City Council reflects increased populations in Park Slope and Williamsburg, according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. The process, with public input, has been ongoing since September; the latest map was given the thumbs-up by the council’s redistricting commission last week. The City Council will vote on the revised plan today. To even up the number of people voting in each district, under the proposal, parts of Park Slope will switch from the 33rd district represented by Councilman Steve Levin to the 39th, represented by Brad Lander. This will help make up for population increases in both Park Slope and Williamsburg. Meanwhile, the 43rd district, which includes parts of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, will expand to include a section of Bath Beach, formerly represented by Staten Island Councilman James Oddo.
New Council Map Reflects Population Changes [Brooklyn Eagle]
Map via Brooklyn Eagle
The Real Deal closely examined the factors promoting and retarding the expansion of national chains into Williamsburg in its September print issue, although it didn’t dig up any definite new names. “Pricey condos and rentals are now filling up with wealthy families, who in turn are attracting high-end retailers,” said the article. Increasing density, which is bringing more foot traffic to stores, and skyrocketing residential rents also appeal to national retailers. As has already been reported, Midtown Equities and other investors are developing the $40 million, 150,000-square foot complex at 242 Bedford Avenue between North 3rd and North 4th streets, which will open in 2014 with a Whole Foods, Citibank, New York Sports Club and luxury apartments. That deal, signed in March, has prompted other big retailers to eye Williamsburg, according to brokers. As has already been rumored, J.Crew and, now, “notable restaurants” are reportedly considering 247 Bedford Avenue, across the street. Williamsburg Cinema, the new movie theater going up at Driggs and Grand, will show mainstream films on its seven screens with 1,000 stadium seats, according to The Real Deal. Furniture stores are also looking into the area, claimed one broker, since all the new arrivals need to kit out their pads. But, a serious drawback is the lack of large spaces for big-box stores. Most retail footprints in the area measure 20 by 100 feet. Nonetheless, retail rents are rising on Bedford Avenue, from about $100 a square foot 18 months ago to $150 a square foot. Retail hotness is also drifting southward. “The South side is now starting to see the rapid restaurant and bar growth that first characterized North Williamsburg’s rise,” concluded The Real Deal.
Mainstream Brands Look for Foothold in Brooklyn’s Hippest Neighborhood [TRD]
Photo by nrvlowdown
Bay Ridge is gaining Middle Eastern immigrants; new bars, restaurants and art events; and people priced out of the rest of the city, The Wall Street Journal found in a look at the area. Bay Ridge’s varied housing stock, which runs the gamut from Victorian houses to modern condos, has been attracting new buyers, said brokers. Unfortunately, the area has seen such an influx of young families that local schools are now overcrowded. Despite all the changes, “the area retains its old Brooklyn feel, celebrated in the 1970s classic ‘Saturday Night Fever,’ which is set in Bay Ridge,” the Journal concluded.
Bay Ridge Keeps Focusing on New and Old [WSJ]
Photo by nrvlowdown
Anyone with a Google alert on Brooklyn will have noticed the news mostly concerns artisanal pickles, murder and the Nets. The New York Daily News has picked up on this seeming contradiction and reported on the statistics behind it. “When you read about Brooklyn, it’s either artisanal cheese or murder and mayhem,” said Brooklyn Community Foundation President Marilyn Gelber. “Both things are true.” The article noted there are more poor people in Brooklyn than the entire population of Detroit, but there are more wealthy people here than in Greenwich, Conn. (more…)
The first major study of the city’s Jewish population to be completed in over a decade reveals several interesting trend, including this headline grabby from the New York Times: After years of declining, the overall Jewish population in the city grew in the last decade fueled by “explosive” growth among the Hasidic and other Orthodox communities in Brooklyn. The rise of these groups, concentrated in areas like Williamsburg and Crown Heights “where college degrees are rare and poverty rates have reached 43 percent,” more than made up for a decline in the number of wealthy, educated Jews on the Upper West Side. Not surprisingly, the shifts coincided with a decline in Jews with moderate religious views. “There are more deeply engaged Jews and there are more unengaged Jews,” said one of the authors of the UJA-Federation-financed study. “These two wings are growing at the expense of the middle. That’s the reality of our community.” Between 2002 and 2011, the percentage of Jews who identify as Orthodox rose from 34 to 40 percent. The percentage of Jewish children who are Orthodox? 74. And while the population of Jews in South Williamsburg may be booming, they won’t be availing themselves of the city’s new bike-share program: The Wall Street Journal reports that there will be zero kiosks in the Hasidic stronghold. “We’re not really looking to put them where there isn’t a lot of demand,” said DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. Check out the glaring hole in the map on the jump.
Chart: Growing Jewish Population, Especially in Brooklyn [NY Times]
Aided by Orthodox, City’s Jewish Population Is Growing Again [NY Times]
Bike-Share Rides Past Neighborhood [WSJ]
As part of a series to look at how various neighborhoods around the city have changed since 1940, The Times ran this chart on Williamsburg. The biggest thing that strikes us is how much lower the overall population is now, though we suspect those numbers have gone up quite a bit in just the last couple of years with all the new residential buildings that have opened.
A Look at New York City, From 1940 to Today [NY Times]
Survey Hints at a Census Undercount in New York City [NY Times]
The city is calling into question the 2010 Census numbers released yesterday, saying the population count, at a record high of 8,175,133, falls short of its projections. (The Observer reports the Census Bureau is standing behind its data). Meanwhile, here are some of the stats released about Brooklyn:
-The Local’s chart on Brooklyn’s stats show an increase of 39,374 people in Brooklyn between the 2000 and 2010 tallies, for a total of 2,504,700.
-According to The Times, “Manhattan and Brooklyn accounted for the only counties in the country with a million or more people where the white share of the population rose.”
-Also from The Times: “According to the census, Queens registered a net loss in occupied housing since 2000 and a 59 percent increase in vacancies. Brooklyn recorded a 66 percent rise in vacancies. In the eyes of the census, [Joseph J. Salvo, the director of the population division at the city's Planning Department] said, ‘huge swaths of housing have essentially been depopulated.’ He added that in many cases, the neighborhoods where the census found high vacancy rates were not necessarily where new housing had been built, or where foreclosures had been rampant.”
-The screengrab above is from WNYC’s interactive map, which lets you zoom in on tracts to see the population increases and decreases that were reported.
Census: New York City’s Population Barely Rose in the Last Decade [NY Times]
Mapping Changes in the Five Boroughs [WNYC]
A Population Grows in Brooklyn [The Local]
Census Bureau Stands By Numbers [NY Observer]
The Eagle takes a look at 2010 Census data for Community Districts 2 and 6, “representing most of Brownstone Brooklyn,” and finds the areas have added more residents and gotten more well-to-do since 2000. The two districts added 11,000 people during that period; although more than two-thirds of households rent their homes, that’s a decline of 4 percent; and the “number of households in those areas that have a yearly income of less than $35,000 has gone down 11 percent. At 27 percent, this is much less than in Brooklyn as a whole and in the city.” Meanwhile, as the article notes, the wealth of the two districts “may actually be understated, due to the presence of large low-income housing projects in Red Hook, Gowanus and Fort Greene.”
Brownstone Districts Show Growth in Population, Wealth [Eagle]
Both the New York Times and New York Magazine take a look at the latest census figures, which were released Tuesday, and note the dramatic population shift in many Brooklyn neighborhoods since 2000. “Some of the largest population gains since 2000 were recorded in places that not long ago might have been considered marginal, including Bedford-Stuyvesant and Williamsburg in Brooklyn,” the NY Times article says. Despite population gains, the Hispanic population has decreased in Williamsburg, Bushwick, and Greenpoint with the black population fell by double-digits in Prospect Heights, Clinton Hill and Fort Greene. Despite these decreasing figures, New York Magazine still finds that that “Kings is gaining on Queens for the title of most diverse county in the nation, and possibly the world.” Brooklyn’s cultural map is dictated heavily by the constant inflow of immigrants, making it hard to keep track of neighborhood dynamics. As the article states, “Sunset Park is becoming less Chinese and more Mexican, Bensonhurst less Italian and more Chinese, Flatbush more Jewish and more Muslim at the same time.” The map, via NY Magazine, shows the densest population of certain immigrant groups in the borrough.
Region is Reshaped as Minorities Go to Suburbs [NY Times]
…Brooklyn and Queens Competing to be Most Diverse City in the World
Map via NY Magazine
Housing Bias Persists [Gotham Gazette]
New York Magazine pops The Times’ bubble about the real demographic reality of Williamsburg. Despite the fact that its most visible residents make easy targets with their skinny jeans and facial hair, Williamsburg is in fact no hotbed of trustfunddom. In fact, Williamsburg’s residents are by and large in worse financial shape than most New Yorkers. In 2005, for example, almost half of those living within the bounds of Community Board 1 were getting some kind of social assistance and the area’s median income is almost 20 less than the city as a whole; less than 3 percent of households were bringing in over $200,000 a year. Concludes the New York article, “The reality of Williamsburg, beyond the mythical trust-funders, is that it is a community of people mostly struggling to get by, with a few wealthy residents grabbing headlines â€” the way New York has always been.”
Beyond Hipsters: Williamsburg’s Tough Economic Realities [New York]
Parental Lifelines, Frayed to Breaking [NY Times]
Dose of Reality for Trust Fund Kids [Brownstoner]
Photo by Eric Graham