Friday, April 15, 2011

Times Real Estate section returns to Prospect Heights, finds not blight but "a place that a lot of people want to be"

The latest Living In/Prospect Heights, Brooklyn article for the New York Times Real Estate section, online now and destined for the Sunday paper April 17, is headlined Tucked Between Past and Future in Brooklyn, and should be read in concert with the four previous "Living In" articles published from 1985 through 2005, which I cataloged in October 2006.

In 1999, the headline was A Diverse Neighborhood Spruces Up in a Turnaround, while in 2005 it was A Neighborhood Comes Into Its Own.

While Prospect Heights is more economically diverse than, say, neighboring Park Slope, thanks to a larger number of rent-regulated buildings, you wouldn't get that from the latest article. (It does quote a resident as saying the drug dealers are long gone.)

The money quote, as in previous iterations of the feature, casts doubt on the state's designation of the Atlantic Yards site as blighted:
As Michael Ettelson, an agent for Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate, put it, Prospect Heights “went from a neighborhood many people hadn’t heard of to a place that a lot of people want to be.”
The AY mention

The Times reports:
Another big change is the Atlantic Yards development, Bruce C. Ratner’s 22-acre residential and commercial project, which includes the Barclays Center and has many vocal critics. So far, several brokers said, the project has not substantially affected real estate prices. The arena is scheduled to open in September 2012.

Atlantic Yards, Mr. Ettelson said, was a bigger concern among prospective buyers four or five years ago, when all people had to go on about the development was drawings and the like. Now, he said, “they see a stadium going up, and people are not necessarily positive about it, but they feel more confident.”
Well, there's likely a tension between wanting a scarce and valuable resource--a row house in a desirable neighborhood near transit--and coping with the increase in traffic on select streets.

I'd suggest that "prospective buyers" should not be chosen as the primary constituency for judging the impact of Atlantic Yards. What about the people who live there?

Atlantic Yards, the Times notes, did spur the formation of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council, which helped get the Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate a large chunk of the neighborhood as a historic district.

Right next to the arena parking lot. Graphic by Tracy Collins.

1 comment:

  1. While clicking through on the links provided does make it clear, it is worth emphasizing even beforehand that the "arena parking lot" is not just the "arena parking lot"; it was, until ever so recently, the Ward Bakery block. And that big beautiful historic structure would still be there to serve the neighborhood and integrate with the rest of the preserved history of the neighborhood had not the Landmarks Preservation Commission gone out of its way to carve it out for destruction (after a well-timed Ratner meeting with Bloomberg and contribution to Bloomberg's carousel charity).

    See this very similar jigsaw puzzle visual here that endeavors to be a reminder of that fact.

    Wednesday, October 29, 2008
    Puzzle Pieces: Proposed Prospect Heights Historic District, LPC Public Hearing

    http://noticingnewyork.blogspot.com/2008/10/puzzle-pieces-proposed-prospect-heights.html

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