Shady Greenpoint Loft Proves Gentrification Really Can Ruin Brooklyn

  • Property Shark

There were red flags, sure. The Craigslist title of “Rustic House,” the $3,800/month pricetag on a damn loft, the fact that a group of four, disparate, 30-something foreigners were able to rent the place sight-unseen. I don’t really know how much of a drawback that last bit actually is to landlords, but I do know that if I still have to live with three roommates who aren’t cats and/or spouse(s) by the time I’m 35, well, I don’t know what I’ll do. I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot with any “I’ll move to CANADA” promises, but whatever happens, it will be bad.

In any case, the loft spaces for rent on 239 Banker Street in Greenpoint definitely seem like a sketch real estate proposition to all but the least trained eye, but that doesn’t mean people like Oliver Fiegel, 35, who came all the way from Germany to “experience Brooklyn loft life” deserve the totally unsafe shithole they found upon moving in. Or, that a neighborhood actively fighting to keep local jobs deserves to have its factory spaces filled with slapped-together lofts just because the city hasn’t found a way to shut them down, which is how things are going right now.

“It’s not crime and disinvestment that’s the enemy of the working-class jobs here anymore,” an official from the East Williamsburg Valley Industrial Development Corporation told the New York Times. “It’s gentrification that’s become they enemy.”

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  1. A credible source tells me that GMDC Greenpoint Manufacturing & Design Center maintains a waiting list for manufacturers/industrialists seeking viable space in the area. Seems there “[is] a noticeable [demand] of companies clamoring for the opportunity to actually use the factory space.” Well, maybe not ‘clamoring,’ but nevertheless. Which goes to show how egregious the whole thing is, especially in the abusive application of “Loft Law,” which has an equivalent status in North Brooklyn’s gentrification as “rent control apartments for the wealthy” in Manhattan.

  2. Loft colonization of the remaining industrial zones in Greenpoint, Williamsburg, and Bushwick is a loss for everyone except the landlords and wealthy transient tenants. The long-time residents of the area lose the blue-collar jobs that pay $40,000 to $50,000 a year (much more than retail) and the “creatives” lose their studio space. A mix of people and uses is what made the area such an attractive place for people to live in the first place. It’s now being homogenized into a mix of dorm-room style residences like the one above and “luxury” condominiums. If you don’t like it, get involved and hold the community board, city council, state assembly, and state senate representative, as well as the mayoral candidates, accountable to this foolish shortsightedness.