Recession Screws neighbourhood Out Of Getting Gentrified

hipsters williamsburg brooklyn

It’s no fair for the residents, property-owners and entrepreneurs who dwell in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, the perpetually up-and-coming neighbourhood on the Queens border.

Its boom is right around the corner, with promises of being the next condo- and organic-grocery-store-infested neighbourhood. But the recession screwed it out of being Williamsburg, its neighbour to the south, which enjoys a tremendous amount of culture and commerce.

NYT’s City Room reports:

Greenpoint, a neighbourhood lined with the bones of industry and infused with a rich Polish heritage, has avoided much of the tumult that churns neighbouring Williamsburg. Greenpoint’s main commercial drag, Manhattan Avenue, is still a village high street, lined with Polish bookstores, cafes and meat markets. Even nearby Franklin Street, a trendy stripe of restaurants and bars, manages to feel sleepy. For now at least, Greenpoint’s stunning views of Manhattan are still mostly clear, unobstructed by the kinds of high-rise developments that are starting to sprout — and wither — in Williamsburg.

A 2005 rezoning that was supposed to transform both neighborhoods has foundered in the recession, leaving its promise of affordable housing unfulfilled and parts of Greenpoint in a curious stasis. Condominium projects have stalled and some developers have resigned themselves to renting.

*Disclosure: the author is a renter in Greenpoint — home to the reviled “G” train, the only subway line that avoids Manhattan.

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