The Latest Sign of Gentrification: Biggie’s Old Apartment Is for Sale for $750,000


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New York Magazine’s Daily Intel reports that the 3-bedroom apartment where a young Christopher Wallace, later known as Notorious B.I.G. (obviously), lived is now for sale for $750,000. That’s a lot of money! Or is it? I don’t know. I have maybe officially lost all perception of what “a lot of money” is when it comes to Brooklyn real estate. However, I used to live on that block, wayyyy back in 2001, which was still a completely different era than when Biggie lived there because it was already being called Clinton Hill back then, but still, that seems like an awful lot of money.

Biggie, of course, never would have said he came from Clinton Hill. He would have said he came from Bed-Stuy. Obviously. And he also probably wouldn’ t have recognized his old apartment, because it went through extensive renovations a few years ago which attempted to “preserv[e the] traditional styling while answering the needs of modern usage.” And probably the fact that the real estate listing places special prominence on the presence of “a place to store bikes” in the building, wouldn’t have mattered all that much to Biggie. I guess I’m assuming here, but he never seemed like much of a cyclist. And, I mean, who can even guess what he would have thought of the proliferation of bike lanes in his old hood. Sadly, we’ll never know. Well, I guess that there are other things about his absence that are a lot sadder than that, but still.

So anyway, this is just the latest, predictable sign of Brooklyn’s gentrification. Just last summer, Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe’s Clinton Hill (but, like, old-school Clinton Hill) home was put on the market for a cool million dollars. I guess the only thing left to wonder is who will be the next icon to have a former apartment be put on the market for an unfathomable amount of money? Mel Brooks grew up on S. 3rd St in Williamsburg. So you just know that place is worth at least a million. All of this just serves as a reminder to me that I will never, EVER be able to afford to buy a home in Brooklyn. Awesome.

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen


  1. Oh, you’ll be able to afford one someday. Just wait until after the next big crash. The Wall street boyz are working on it as we speak.

  2. @Kzoe Right, I don’t mean that Clinton Hill is new. Just that the block where Biggie grew up (St. James Place off Fulton Street) never used to be included as part of Clinton Hill. Kind of like how “Park Slope” now encompasses parts of what have always been known as parts of Sunset Park.

  3. Lefferts Gardens still offers much less costly apartments than this for sale in well maintained co-op buildings, some of which are directly on the park. You can even get a house (needing work) there for less than this. In a couple years when the ice rink and new condo tower are finished that might change. And change can happen fast. I wish we’d looked in Prospect Heights even just a year before we finally bought elsewhere in 2006 because we could have afforded it then. Not now.

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