Dec 272010

We recently discovered the Toren Flip Project, apparently designed to help market the Toren, one of the many luxury  towers that went up in the condo building frenzy that was unleashed by  the 2004 rezoning. According to the site, each of the unedited video snippets featured have “something really interesting to reveal” about the “very cool and creative people” that are deciding to live in the Toren, and “collectively paint a picture of the growing Toren community.” Check it out.

Dec 152010

The New York Times has some interesting coverage today about what the latest census data tells us about recent patterns of racial change in New York City. Fort Greene, for instance, which was affected by the Downtown Brooklyn rezoning in 2004, saw “double-digit decreases” in black residents, while white residents in that neighborhood increased from 14 to 26 percent. The data suggest that the city is being reshaped along racial lines as blacks, Latinos, Asians, and immigrants are pushed outward by gentrification.

Nov 172010

It’s not every day that the Wall Street Journal covers the Fulton Mall, so this recent article, re-posted thanks to Brownstoner, was a bit of a surprise, even if its racist undertones weren’t. The basic narrative replicated here is familiar enough: the once-great Fulton Street of the (white) department store heyday was “replaced” by an unfortunate “grungy” (read: black, lower-income) strip selling “cheap goods” and “knickknacks.” But there’s now hope of finally cleaning it all up, thanks to all the new (half-empty) luxury condos everywhere and the potential for attracting “Manhattan-type residents.” Notably, the piece fails to mention a major reason for much of the current blight: the displacement caused by the 2004 rezoning which, combined with the economic crisis, has kept many storefronts empty and construction sites stalled for years now.