East New York Is The Latest “Hot” Neighborhood For 2017

As gentrification sweeps through the city, every low-income neighborhood is being branded at “hot”. East New York in Brooklyn is the latest.

By Jeff Vasishta January 19, 2017
Photo courtesy of AIGA/NY

Let’s face it, almost every low-income, gritty area in New York is liable to be labeled the next “hot” neighborhood. At the end of last year, StreetEasy predicated that Kingsbridge in the Bronx would be the unlikely inheritor of that coveted title. Now Property Shark has taken a look at the amount of development going in East New York and decided that 2017 belongs to them.

They may be right. The rezoning of 190 formerly industrial blocks and adding 6,500 new apartments—most at market rents—tends to have an effect on local real estate. It will do a lot to stop house prices from rising and current residents struggling to afford to live there. Factor in the proximity to rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhoods, such as Bushwick and BedStuy, and it’s not hard to picture organic markets, yoga studios and artisanal shops competing for space on East New York’s hard scrabble streets. But don’t expect it to happen overnight.

RelatedRiverdale In The Bronx Is Becoming One Of NYC’s Hottest Neighborhoods

East New York still has some fairly sobering statistics to grapple with. In 2015, the neighborhood had the third-highest violent crime rate in Brooklyn. Around 32 percent of locals were living at or below the poverty level, according to AM New York. Moreover, residents are only expected to live 77.7 years compared 83.5 years in other Brooklyn neighborhoods. Turning around a neighborhood can be like turning around an oil tanker.

Just because new condos are being built, doesn’t mean that the old tenants, good and bad, will leave. The hype about East New York has been doing the rounds for the last few years, with developers and flippers snatching up beat-up properties—like broke people snatch up unused metro cards, fixing and flipping them. In 2015, East New York was the number one neighborhood for flipped properties, with 94 properties being bought and sold within a 12 month period according to the Center for NYC Neighborhoods report—as showcased in The Real Deal. It’s a trend that has only continued as excitement about new development in the area attracts more investors.

RelatedUntapped Resources: Can Immigrants Revitalize Decaying Neighborhoods?

With brownstones in Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy scaling the $2 million mark, investors and tenants are being pushed out to East New York, continuing a wave of gentrification which was started almost two decades ago in Prospect Heights. Gentrification is viewed differently by homeowners and renters, those being priced out, and those who stand to benefit from it.

“Honestly, homeowners are happy about it but the renters aren’t.” says school teacher Ted Hamilton, a ten year East New York resident who purchased his home through a Neighborhood Housing Services affordable housing program. Change, at least visually, is sweeping and dramatic: “There aren’t so many abandoned lots anymore,” he says. “There is so much construction going on Rockaway Avenue, Bushwick Avenue, the entirety of Broadway Junction and the surrounding areas. Also, the police have cleaned up the prostitution and you don’t see homeless people around here anymore. There are far less, if any, Section 8 tenants on my block. Everyone is converting to market rents.”

And the market rents are only continuing to rise.


Jeff Vasishta



Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

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