Williamsburg Comes to Crown Heights?

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    The New York Sun took a look at Franklin Avenue in Crown Heights yesterday, noting that “bodegas, hair salons, and fast-food restaurants lining the section of Franklin Avenue that runs between Eastern Parkway and Atlantic Avenue, on the western boundary of Crown Heights, are slowly being replaced by organic markets, cafés, and clothing boutiques.” One resident likened the newfangled street to Williamsburg, noting his own store has started stocking organic produce to please the new residents, moving in for the relatively cheap rent; one broker says apartments are about $300 less a month than similar pads in nearby Prospect Heights, and that retail rents can be $1 or $2 less per square foot. Not all residents think that if the street changes it will become a Bedford Avenue; Smith Street and 5th Avenue were invoked, as well, noting the new beer garden, Franklin Park (which apparently draws residents old and new to its halls), a fancy boutique, Point de Couture, a cafe and a tattoo parlor. A 21-year veteran is redeveloping his own building into a residential complex. Question: Is it possible for a neighborhood to shift like this without becoming Park Slope or Williamsburg, to withstand an influx of residents and retail and still be very much Crown Heights? If these new establishments manage to speak to those who’ve lived there for years, maybe we’ll see an example of it. What do you guys think?
    Franklin Avenue Changes as Crown Heights Shifts [NY Sun]
    Houses, Crown Heights. Photo by gkjarvis.

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